Do Inclusion Riders Make Sense For The Cultural Industry? Does It Help The Fight For Equality Or Not?

July 15, 2021
Written By:
Written By:
July 15, 2021

Inclusion Riders are becoming more and more common in actors’ and artists’ contracts, but they have caused some commotion in the industry due to different perspectives on the situation. But first, let’s get into what exactly Inclusion Riders are.

Thanks to research undertaken by Pirate Studios, we found out that not many people know what Inclusion Riders are, even artists themselves don’t. According to them, only 30% of the 700 artists they interviewed knew what it was, and only 7% had one. So what is it?

A rider is essentially an addition to an artist’s performing contract, this could be anything really. Outlandish stuff like rooms filled with candles or white lilies, or eye-watering expensive booze. But an Inclusion Rider is a provision in an actor’s or filmmaker’s contract that provides for a certain level of diversity in casting and production staff. This diversity ranges from hiring women to LGBTQ+ people, or even people with disabilities.

Source: Variety

For most people, you’d say that’s pretty amazing right? Giving everyone the same opportunities to be booked regardless of their gender, orientation, race…etc? But not everyone feels that way, and Inclusion Riders have caused quite the debate regarding their effectiveness when it comes to tackling the issue of systematic discrimination.

Every promoter I work with, I can feel their passion and careful line-up selection; I believe they won’t compromise even if they have to look a little further from their usual booking pool. There are plenty of exciting artists who happen to be minorities, making all sorts of music, and I want them to be lifted from relative obscurity

If an artist brings up inclusivity at the start of the booking process, it will increase positive discrimination. The promoters will have to get a bigger pool and diversify their line-up from the beginning of the process.

Others, do not understand why one would even need to have an Inclusion Rider.

“I don’t understand why anyone would even want to work with promoters that need an ‘inclusion rider’ in order to make their line-ups more inclusive. How is that helping the situation? I don’t work with any promoters who need an ‘inclusion rider’ to be reminded of the fact that they can’t just book all white men.”

Instead of implementing things such as the Inclusion Rider, some artists are wondering why people aren’t looking at, and actually tackling the real issues behind why the industry is like this in the first place.

It’s fair to say that both sides do make valid points, and in general it is a good thing to see that little nudges like this are a good little step in the right direction. But there is still a very long way to go in regards to representation, we need to ensure that Inclusion Riders do not become a symbolic gesture, and instead are the first step towards systematic change.

What do you think about this? Are you more pro or against the concept of Inclusion Riders? There’s some more food for thought for ya.

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