As the 90th Academy Awards ceremony wrapped up at The Dolby Theatre in LA this morning, inclusion was making the headlines.
In a year that saw cultural change trickle through Hollywood, winners at the 2018 Oscar ceremony turned the focus of the night to the achievements of women, immigrants and people of determination.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY INCLUSION
After winning Best Director for his inclusion-themed fantasy The Shape of Water, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro stated proudly, ‘I am an immigrant…and I think the greatest thing our industry does is erase the lines in the sand.’
Best Actress went to Frances McDormand for her role as a grieving mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing. McDormand’s acceptance speech first turned the spotlight on women’s achievements when she invited all female attendees to stand up and see the stories women have to offer.
The actress then concluded, ‘I have two words for you, inclusion rider.’ Referring to a 2016 Ted Talk by Professor Stacy Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the term refers to a clause that allows actors to put diversity requirements in projects. Speaking to UK-based newspaper The Guardian, Smith said, ‘Implementation could be a major turning point in ensuring a culture that supports fairer representation of women, people of color and people with all types of disabilities.’
The speech saw a storm of support on Twitter with fellow actress and comedian Whitney Cummings tweeting, ‘We should support this for a billion reasons’ and Brie Larson writing, ‘Committed to the Inclusion Rider, who’s with me?’.
As one of the central themes of the Special Olympics, celebrity support for inclusion can only be a good thing but that’s not to say that only Hollywood stars can make a difference. Play your part in helping to make the change by signing up to volunteer at the Special Olympics World Games here .