Netflix CEO Says It Won’t Adopt Inclusion Riders Policy

Frances McDormand's call for "inclusion riders" during this year's Academy Awards has led many high-profile names and companies to pledge their support to the movement.

But during a March 6 press conference, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company has "no interest" in following suit. "We’re not so big on doing everything through agreements," Hastings said. "We’re trying to do things creatively."

Netflix, a company that boasts nearly 118 million subscribers, is a key player in the entertainment industry. Many of the streaming service's television shows feature diverse leads—including Orange Is the New Black, Dear White People, Masters of None and Luke Cage. Still, USA Today reported, Netflix's board is primarily compoised of white men and some white women, while African-Americans make up 4 percent of Netflix's staff and leadership and Hispanics 6 percent.

Netflix CEO Netflix has "no interest" in adopting inclusion riders. Here, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is pictured speaking January 6, 2016, at the CES 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Getty Images

Hastings's comments come as a wave of interest in inclusion riders hits Hollywood. The term refers to a stipulation in an actor's contract that would require more diversity on set among both cast and crew members. And for many, McDormand's best actress actress speech at the 2018 Oscars—"I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider"—was the first time they heard of it. 

Inclusion riders were a new thing to McDormand, too. The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri star said she had no knowledge of them until a week before the ceremony—despite working steadily in the industry for 35 years. But after her speech, colleagues began looking into the contract language.

Actress Brie Larson was the first to confirm she's "committed to the Inclusion Rider" policy by tweeting her support right after the Oscars ceremony. Larson, 28, even encouraged others to join her. Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan followed Larson's lead, pledging his commitment to applying inclusion riders to all future projects produced by his production company, Outlier Society. "It's Outlier's mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward," Jordan wrote on Instagram

More recently, actress Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni tweeted Monday on behalf of Pearl Street Films—a production company owned by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon—that it intends to adopt inclusion riders. Bridesmaids director Paul Feig promised Tuesday that his company, Feigco Entertainment, would do the same. "People who don't do it now and the studios and companies that don’t do it now are moving backward," Feig told The Guardian.

Netflix did not return Newsweek's request for comment.

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