From the minute she stepped on stage, it was clear Frances McDormand was going to make a statement.
Accepting the Best Actress award for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the 60 year old said she was “hyperventilating a bit”.
“If I fall over pick me up because I have got some things to say,” she began.
After thanking her family and support network, McDormand said she wanted “to get some perspective”.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 5, 2018
“If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight, the actors – Meryl, if you do it everybody else with, come on,” she said.
“The film makers the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the song writers, the designers. Come on!”
To a round of applause, she asked everyone in the room to look at the people standing.
“We all have stories to tell and projects we need finance. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple of days or you can come to ours whichever suits you best and we will tell you all about them.”
Then with two words, the two-time Best Actress winner delivered the most powerful moment of the ceremony, which had been comparatively less political than the other award shows this season.
“I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Inclusion. Rider.”
An inclusion rider is a clause actors can put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets.
an inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can’t find a reason to, here’s one: it will make movies better.
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) March 5, 2018
In doing so, McDormand was calling for the Hollywood heavyweights in the room to put their money where their mouth is and truly make a difference.
Because as the most successful movies this year show, diversity is no longer negotiable.