Matt Damon, Ben Affleck's company will use inclusion riders on future projects

Frazer Harrison  Getty Images
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Frazer Harrison Getty Images Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

The duo, who founded the company in 2012, are following in the footsteps of Michael B. Jordan, who pledged to adopt inclusion riders at his production company following Frances McDormand's Best Actress speech at the Academy Awards. The two are founders of Pearl Street Films, a production company responsible for films like Manchester By The Sea, as well as the upcoming The Batman, which Ben Affleck will definitely be in.

Damon and Affleck's production company Pearl Street Films said on Monday it was adopting the inclusion rider, and Jordan said last week that his company Outlier Productions would do the same.

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Jordan, Affleck, and Damon have adopted inclusion riders following Frances McDormand's best actress acceptance speech at the Oscars on March 4, where the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star closed her remarks by mentioning the term. Stacy L. Smith, the director of USC Annenberg's Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, first discussed the idea of an "equity rider" in a 2014 column for The Hollywood Reporter as a way to reverse Hollywood's profound gender imbalance. Specifics of the rider are also undisclosed at this time. During the production, he clashed with producer Effie Brown in a conversation that was perceived to be racially insensitive.

Big-name actors can often negotiate riders in their contracts allowing them to make special requests. Both Damon and Affleck have in the past five months faced public scrutiny for either comments, in Damon's case, or alleged past behavior, in Affleck's, in the #MeToo era and to some are emblematic of an outmoded entertainment industry. "And so the fact that I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business... we're not going back".

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