Frances McDormand's Oscar Speech Explained

Frances McDormand's Oscar Speech Explained

5 Mar 2018

If it wasn't already clear to the world, Frances McDormand is a character - and last night she enhanced that even further.

She took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Martin McDonagh's 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.'

However, it was her acceptance speech that is making all the headlines this morning.

She asked all the female nominees to stand up to show the world who they are. 

Here it is in full and we'll explain what she was on about in a minute:

'Inclusion rider.'

That refers to a clause actors can insist be added to their contracts.

Media researcher Stacy Smith coined the term two years ago when she asked for more ways to show more women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities on screen.

"It means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity, not only in casting but also in the crew," McDormand explained backstage afterwards.

It's complicated but here's Smith explaining it in its simplest form: 

"The typical feature film has about 40 to 45 speaking characters in it. I would argue that only 8 to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story.

"The remaining 30 or so roles, there's no reason why those minor roles can't match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place.

"An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live."

McDormand got the backing of former tennis star Billie Jean King, British screenwriter Jack Thorne and Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks.

Needless to say, when McDormand said it, everyone flocked to Google, and a decent portion of people thought she said 'inclusion writer' rather than 'inclusion rider.'