Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have announced that they’re adopting inclusion riders under their production company Pearl Street Films.
On Monday, per The Hollywood Reporter, Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, head of strategic outreach at Pearl Street Films and one of the women who helped develop the inclusion rider, tweeted that Affleck and Damon would be using inclusion riders on the projects produced via their film company. (An inclusion rider can be implemented by star talent to demand that their movies have diverse casts and crews.)
Looking at Damon’s and Affleck’s resumés, they appear to be lacking when it comes to both diversity and sexism. Damon, three years ago, famously interrupted the successful black filmmaker and producer Effie Brown on the show Project Greenlight, in an attempt to explain diversity to her. “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film not in the casting of the show,” he said. Because to Damon, diversity only happened in the casting of who’s in front of the screen, not behind it.
If Damon already knew so much about diversity, why would he need inclusion riders? It seems that he has since opened his mind.
Damon also fumbled interviews for Downsizing last year on the discussion of sexual harassment and assault by bringing up the old argument that there’s a spectrum people need to be careful about and we can’t conflate touching someone’s butt with rape, etc. Last year, meanwhile, Affleck faced groping allegations from makeup artist Annamarie Tendler and has given us long-standing radio silence regarding sexual misconduct allegations against his brother Casey.