Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Harvey Weinstein collaborators who often found themselves on the wrong side of #MeToo shake-up of American culture, are trying to right their past wrongs by announcing that they will add inclusion riders to contracts for their film company projects.
The A-listers are taking a cue from Frances McDormand, who ended her Academy Award acceptance speech March 4 with a call for “inclusion riders.” The term left many watching the ceremony rushing to Google. The term refers to an optional addition to a contract that requires that the cast and crew on a film or TV project meet a certain level of diversity.
Affleck and Damon’s decision to support the idea was announced on Twitter by Fanshen Cox DiGiovani, a senior executive at their Pearl Street production company. In the announcement DiGiovani also referred to actor Michael B. Jordan’s announcement last week that his company, Outlier Society Productions, would adopt riders for its projects.
.@michaelb4jordan Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry. On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward. https://t.co/ODit24D2Rb
— Fanshen (@fanshen) March 13, 2018
Public-relations-wise, it’s a positive move for Affleck and Damon. Their reputations were badly tarnished by their association with Harvey Weinstein and what was perceived as their tone-deaf responses to #MeToo efforts to denounce a Hollywood culture that has long enabled sexual misconduct and gender inequality.
Rose McGowan claimed that she told Affleck immediately after Weinstein allegedly raped her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, but he went forward with statements about Weinstein, claiming that he was not aware that the producer had allegedly preyed on women.
Similarly Damon claimed he was unaware of Weinstein’s alleged misconduct and then made statements about sexual harassment that many, including his ex-girlfriend and “Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver, found to be poorly informed.
Both men also have been blasted for their failure to address sexual harassment allegations against Affleck’s brother Casey Affleck. Damon was producer for Casey Affleck’s film “Manchester by the Sea” and successfully campaigned for him to win an Oscar last year, even as Casey Affleck was dogged by harassment lawsuits filed against him in 2010 by two women.
The idea that Damon is signing onto the idea of inclusion riders certainly …
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