On Sunday night, actress Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” She concluded her speech by asking all the women in the audience to stand with her, and ended by saying, “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
“There is, has always been, available to everybody that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider, which means you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting but also the crew,” McDormand later explained. “The fact that I just learn that after 35 years of being in the film business — we’re not going back.”
McDormand quickly made it clear exactly what kind of diversity she prized so highly. “So the whole idea of women ‘trending,’ no. No trending. African-Americans ‘trending?’ No. No trending. It changes now,” she said.
— Variety (@Variety) March 5, 2018
Perhaps more racial diversity and more women in cinema would be a good thing, but this kind of diversity papers over a tragic lack of deeper diversity in Hollywood. Cinema may need new faces, but what it really needs is new ideas.
Polling data on actors’ political views are hard to come by. But there’s evidence beyond award-show behavior and Instagram feeds to suggest that the stereotype of the liberal actor squares with reality. For example, where Hillary Clinton received three votes for every one that went to Donald Trump in Los Angeles County as a whole, actor-heavy areas like the Hollywood Hills recorded even more-lopsided tallies. Likewise, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that individuals and firms in the television, movie and music industries gave $84 million in campaign contributions during the 2016 election cycle, with 80 percent going to Democrats.
It is no secret that Hollywood skews liberal. Films wantonly demonize Republicans, push climate change hysteria, twist the true history of the crusades, and constantly push whatever the Left’s next agenda might be.
This doesn’t mean films are all or mostly bad, but it does mean the country’s cinematic elite desperately needs an injection of a new perspective. As Hollywood turns to remake after remake after remake, an inclusion of new ideas is extremely important. Perhaps the entertainment industry should consider conservative, Christian, or even — oh horrors! — Republican perspectives.
This inclusion might even have the added benefit of making celebrities’ political videos less noxious to so many Americans. If Hollywood’s liberal elites had to work side-by-side with thinking conservatives, they might hesitate to dismiss and demonize any dissent from Leftist orthodoxy.
In addition to pushing for a racial and sexual inclusion rider, McDormand and her fellow celebrities should advocate for an ideological inclusion rider. Imagine if Hollywood liberals demanded films hire conservatives to work alongside them — that would take true guts and real courage.
Even better, it would infuse new ideas into Hollywood. Perhaps the entertainment industry needs more women. Perhaps it needs people with darker skin and who represent different parts of the world. More than anything else, however, Hollywood needs new ideas and new perspectives that would challenge the industry’s liberal monotony and appeal to the millions of conservatives across the country — and around the world.