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Ben Affleck & Matt Damon's company to adopt inclusion riders

INCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (Photo credit: PA)

ACTORS MATT Damon, Ben Affleck and director Paul Feig have committed to adopting an “inclusion rider” for their film production companies.

The public pledges from the high-profile actors and directors - including Black Panther's Michael B. Jordan - plans to embrace inclusion riders, as a way to set objectives for inclusion on screen and behind the camera.

This will specifically target underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, LGBT people and people with disabilities.

Speaking to The Guardian, Feig said: “It’s not that hard to do, and it’s just common sense. I feel like the people who don’t do it now and the studios and companies that don’t do it now are moving backward, not forward.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” Feig added. “It’s up to artists and filmmakers to set the example, then the studios have to follow.”

The inclusion rider idea was conceived by Stacy Smith, a University of Southern California professor who studies representation in media.

During a TED talk in 2017 by Stacy Smith, she examined the data on diversity in US-produced films, which showed that casting was not representative of the population. During the talk, she suggested that an “equity clause” or an “inclusion rider” could be part of the solution.

Academy Award-winner Frances McDormand gave a shout out to Smith, and mentioned the importance of incorporating inclusion riders into the film industry.

Since then, Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan have been the first high profile celebrities to declare their support, and Affleck and Damon's production company Pearl Street Films, has followed suit.

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