Frances McDormand on inclusion riders: The equal-pay-for-equal-work conversation is decades old but I feel times are changing

FP Staff

June 14, 2018 16:55:48 IST

Frances McDormand never uttered the words "inclusion rider" at the Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday night in Beverly Hills but the Oscar-winning actress did cheekily place a red bumper sticker with the phrase written clearly in black capital letters on her backside. It got the point across.

Not that she needed to do a repeat performance. The concept was made instantly famous through her Oscar speech earlier this year and it proved to be a recurring theme of the evening which saw Brie Larson making a plea for more diversity in film criticism and ABC president Channing Dungey advocating for diverse voices not just on screen but behind it too.

McDormand said she became a feminist at age 15 in 1972 when someone told her that feminism meant equal pay for equal work. "That seemed like a good idea to me. I was also told I could have it all and lo and behold I did. But many haven't, many haven't. And we are still feminists so that means that there is not equal pay for equal work. That is not okay by me," she said. "This conversation is decades old. I have this feeling in my gut that times are changing."

Frances McDormand, holding a sign that says Inclusion Rider, introduces Stacey L. Smith at the Women In Film Crystal and Lucy Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Frances McDormand, holds a sign that says Inclusion Rider at the Women In Film Crystal and Lucy Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The event, supported by Max Mara, Lancôme and Lexus, is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the advocacy group's educational and philanthropic programs in Los Angeles. Women in Film advocates for gender parity in the entertainment industry, and Wednesday's celebration marked the group's 45th anniversary. McDormand helped introduce 22 trailblazing women in the entertainment industry, from filmmaker Allison Anders to producer Gale Anne Hurd, who all joined her on stage to a standing ovation from the room.

Dr Stacy L Smith, the founder and director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, was recognised for creating the "inclusion rider." Smith said McDormand's Oscar night improvisation, when she chose to draw attention to the inclusion rider, changed her life. She added that she has not slowed down since the Academy Awards.

With inputs from AP

Updated Date: Jun 14, 2018 16:58 PM