The IR is an addendum (addition) to a contract anyone can ask for that encourages an employer or other people in hiring positions to institute a process to meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals and to hold the company or production accountable for their progress.
Examples of riders in contracts: an actor might ask their employer to provide a certain kind of trailer to stay in during a film shoot, or might ask for cruelty-free makeup on set. The Inclusion Rider says that the employer and employee (or ‘parties’) want to positively contribute to an industry that cares about DEIA and they want to reflect this commitment through their hiring practices.
We strongly recommend consulting with an attorney to help negotiate this clause. There are programs for low-fee and pro-bono attorneys such as California Lawyers for the Arts and California Employment Lawyers Association that can support you (they may be able to offer assistance with other states as well).
If you would like to see more DEIA represented at your workplace, and you are in a position to negotiate your contract, the IR can help you and your employer achieve this. The IR serves as a strong reminder to employers to hire with DEIA in mind. It also sets data collection, analysis and accountability measures so the employer can reflect on whether it has met its goals, and can contribute to programs that support DEIA if – or when – it doesn’t.
Although the IR is a flexible template, there are four elements that are essential for successful implementation of the IR:
The IR can be requested by any party involved in a negotiation that includes hiring; however, we recommend having an attorney negotiate the IR on your behalf (please see question 1 for low-fee resources for attorneys).
Depending on your leverage in the negotiation, you can determine how strongly you’d like to encourage your employer to add the IR to your contract. Some people feel strongly that they’d prefer not to work in an environment with little or no DEIA representation. Others may not feel they have enough power, or are concerned about risking their position. Either way, it is valuable to ask to include the IR in your contract, because you plant a seed in the employer’s mind to consider DEIA in their hiring.
Yes, you definitely can! Letting your employer know that this is important to you is a helpful way for all of us to work together towards sustainable change and greater DEIA representation at work. We want to also acknowledge that traditionally underrepresented people typically bear the load not only of feeling excluded at work, but are also often those charged with DEIA work. Given this, consider your positioning and particularly if you are in a place of power and privilege at work, you can utilize the IR to help push for the DEIA change you’re committed to.
Your employer may appreciate your bringing the IR to their attention. Consider bringing it up with them to encourage more DEIA in your workplace. If they are discouraging, please see the section, ‘Responding to Pushback’ where you may find some useful advice for how to respond. However, if you feel uncomfortable, or can’t get an attorney to help you negotiate, you may not be able to use the IR. But know that you’ve already done a lot simply by alerting your employer to its existence!
Great question! Our ultimate goal is for companies to adopt the IR so that individuals don’t have to. Part of rolling out these updates to the IR is an effort to ask companies to agree to use it for all their hiring practices. However, until they do, it is helpful for individuals to ask their employers to adopt the IR. We can all contribute to system-wide changes by doing both.
As early as possible. The IR can be discussed as early as the parties start thinking about a new project or event and hiring for it. Sometimes hiring can happen quickly, so the sooner the IR can be included in the conversation, the better.
Yep! The IR includes accountability measures for once the project (or projects) are completed. Using the IR, your employer can commit to collecting and analyzing hiring data, reporting the data and donating funds to charitable DEIA organizations if they fall short of their goals. These measures are a win-win for everyone because if they don’t meet their targets, they can learn from the past, make better choices in the future, AND support organizations that are committed to DEIA in hiring. Please see our hiring resources link which includes a list of organizations that would happily receive this kind of support.
This depends on the parties and/or attorneys discussing the IR. The IR template is very straightforward and achievable, and therefore should not require a great deal of time to negotiate.
As a template, the IR provides many channels for flexibility to ensure its workability. One of these is by ensuring story integrity in casting.
For example, if you are working on a film that tells the true story of a group of people who are Latino/a/x, the production would not necessarily have to cast members outside of this identity group.
However, we ask that you and your employer consider:
1) historically white, white-passing, and/or light-skinned people have been cast to play a number of different ethnicities–and for over 200 years there has been little to no consideration of this. In meeting DEIA goals in hiring, we encourage those in casting to strongly consider this history and make prudent choices towards broader representation
2) we now have very successful examples of casting historical figures as non-white ethnicities–like Hamilton and Bridgerton. Audiences adore these stories because of the stories themselves, not because of how the people in them look (or maybe it’s BECAUSE these casts are more representative that we love them so much)
Finally, story integrity should in no way limit your consideration in crew hiring and hiring more generally at your company.
Yes. We are confident that in almost all settings, a company’s or production’s efforts will result in satisfying the terms of the IR. We also believe that in order for real, positive and lasting change to happen, it is imperative that the company reflect on its past practices in order to seek to improve in the future. The IR encourages accountability through data collection and analysis, reporting, and a good faith donation where a company or production may fall short of your goals.
In committing to the IR, your production and/or company agrees to work with an expert to whom they will report the demographic data (as outlined in the IR), and who will collect and analyze the data. Your company/production can use our hiring resources link for expert recommendations if they do not already work with one. If they have the capacity to collect data internally, they can certainly do that.
The data will remain confidential and anonymous and will be kept separate from any job applications. This may then be further utilized (in its anonymous form) by the expert in research projects that examine diversity and inclusion in film and TV and/or to advocate for greater inclusion in the entertainment industry (in compliance with local, state and federal law).
Definitely. Having this data is important in order to help diversify hiring pools and to measure hiring practices. This is standard and accepted practice across the country and on a federal level. Be sure that your employer has a clear statement about their commitments to DEIA, that your providing the information is voluntary, and that the information will be kept separately from other application materials.
In order for system-wide change to happen, it is important that we all reflect on the ways our past practices have contributed to the inequities in the entertainment industry, and take active steps towards changing the status quo. This is why we have included a meaningful donation within the accountability measures in the IR.
Given that the IR is a flexible template, determining the amount of and who shares in contributing to the donation are up to each individual, individual project and company to state clearly upon negotiation and adoption of the IR.
We recommend a commitment to a personally meaningful donation by all key personnel involved in a project or slate of projects, or at a company. This includes people, studios and any production companies receiving opening credits for the project, and/or most if not all above-the-line positions including talent. You may choose to negotiate a sliding scale depending on the overall budget of the project and/or based on the guaranteed salary for above-the-line talent and crew. You may choose to connect the donation commitment only to roles for which there are currently robust hiring lists. You may also take into consideration those in key roles who have been traditionally underrepresented vs. those who have benefited monetarily and otherwise from systemic racism, sexism, colorism, sizeism, ageism and other forms of oppression. Perhaps your company has its own fund for deepening talent pools, for example for interns or executive assistants–you may choose to contribute the funds there. These are all important considerations, and as long as there is a written commitment to a meaningful donation, how you arrive at the details is flexible.
Please see our hiring resources link to assist your employer in finding crew to hire.
While we are excited about the many talented people you can find through these lists, this is not an endorsement or recommendation of specific individuals on the lists. As always, employers should do their due diligence in vetting the potential hires and keep an eye towards DEIA.
No. The IR is explicit in setting forth a target for hiring, which could focus on progress over time, which is not the same as a quota. It also makes explicit that those making hiring determinations use their best efforts to hire qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds. You may choose to share these resources with your employer if they would like more information:
Here are two helpful from the ACLU on inclusive targets and the IR:
No. The focus on building diverse and deep hiring pools and always hiring qualified candidates is designed to prevent reverse discrimination which occurs when a qualified candidate who does not come from an underrepresented background is passed over in favor of an unqualified candidates from an underrepresented backgrounds.
Please see these two resources for more on this from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
We understand that this may be difficult. The IR encourages voluntary self-identification in order to make meaningful progress, but ultimately we understand–it is a very personal decision and we encourage you to do what’s best for you. The Department of Labor’s OFCCP created a terrific video about self-identification in the case of disability that has broader applicability. Watch here.
Although the pipeline for some positions at your workplace may be more challenging than others, this should not discourage your employer from seeking to hire with DEIA in mind. Adopting the IR can encourage them to be more mindful about ways they can contribute to expanding the pipelines. This may include ‘outside the box’ thinking in terms of the qualified candidates who will get hired and investment in programs that deepen pipelines where needed.
For example: in the film and TV industry many crew positions have fairly easy crossover with positions in live theater. A stage manager’s role has a lot of similarities with the role of an AD. Just as the industry has done for white cisgendered men for centuries–hiring them even if they don’t have full experience in a particular area but seeing their value otherwise–it can encourage DEIA by seeing the value in lived cultural experiences as well as work experiences that may not appear at first to have direct links to the position. Please see our hiring resources link under the category Alternative/Crossover Positions specifically for crew hiring considerations.
Yes. The seals are important, however, they are not always intersectional (taking into consideration multiple identities). They also are only used once a project is in post-production or already distributed whereas the IR can be used as early as the development process on a project. Ideally the IR encourages careful processes and reflection at the earliest stages of hiring. Also, if you are using the WOCU seal, use of the IR is included in the requirements–so you get double points for DEIA!
The Rooney Rule (aka Winzer Rule in fantasy sports) is a pioneering strategy developed for the National Football League by civil rights and employment attorney Cyrus Mehri. It calls for consideration of diverse candidates for head coaching positions and has been expanded by the NFL to include general manager and other similar front office positions. Unlike the Rooney Rule, the IR is a contractual obligation that states production companies and studios will make best effort to deepen and diversify the hiring pool, establish benchmarks and targets, collect, measure, and analyze cast/crew hiring data, and implement accountability measures if they fall short of their goals.The IR studio/production company policy is based on those four leading principles.
The IR is specifically a tool for hiring. It does not focus on or help resolve people’s experiences once they are hired, nor does it address retention or promotions. The IR also does not directly influence the script for a project. It does not include recommendations for filming locations. It does not prescribe specific actions for all the various situations in which you will find yourselves as a company and/or on productions. The IR is one of many tools we strongly recommend you consider using in your diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts.
Please see this link prepared by IllumiNative.
Intersectionality is a term and concept coined by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw. It refers to the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups (Merriam-Webster).
In the IR we seek to encompass the many ways in which people are marginalized and underrepresented and encourage hiring benchmarks for these groups; however, we do not name all of these identity groups within the language of the IR templates and implementation guide. This is in part why it’s important to keep in mind that the IR is flexible.
Especially once you are in the stage of examining your data, we recommend you do so with an intersectional lens. For example, if your company’s productions focus mainly on Black and/or African American characters, do you also include characters who are transgender? Over 40? Are you considering the damaging effects of colorism when making choices in casting and seeking to reverse the overrepresentation of light-skinned Black, bi-racial, and multiracial actors and crew members by including a full range of qualified medium and light brown-skinned to very dark brown- skinned actors and crew members? What about sizeism? If you are making efforts to include more people with disabilities, are you considering the differences between people with visible disabilities and those without? Historically the deaf and hard of hearing do not identify as having a disability; are you consulting with people in these communities in order to broaden the representation in your company and/or productions?
Just as we have done and continue to do in developing these resources, please consult directly with members of the communities that have been underrepresented. Our hiring resources include links to organizations who can share more.
Yes. The IR has already been used for the tech industry, sports, fashion, music, the legal profession, publishing, and more.
Given that the IR is often part of contract negotiations, it often involves confidential information and is challenging to share who has utilized it as part of their contracts or policies. However, there are many public stories of individuals and companies who are adopting the IR, and it is being used beyond Hollywood. Often the IR is used in conjunction with other initiatives, such as the IR being a requirement for projects that receive the Women of Color Unite seal.