After Frances McDormand’s influential speech about “inclusion riders” being added into Hollywood contracts, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings responds directly by saying he and the company have no interest in doing such a thing.

“We’re not so big on doing everything through agreements,” said Reed Hastings at a press meeting inside his office. “We’re trying to do things creatively.” Instead of using the inclusion rider as hoped for by the elites in Hollywood, Hastings would rather his staff speak with filmmakers about how many women and people of color are working on the project before shooting begins. “That’s how we look at it,” he said.

An “inclusion rider,” for those not in the know, is a sentence included in a contract where actors and actresses can require the hiring of a diverse cast and crew. Netflix, a billion-dollar company with 117 million subscribers, plays an increasingly influential role in Hollywood. For them to take a stance against the inclusion of such language in a contract is interesting, to say the least. With production on shows and movies increasingly be led by black-and-brown creatives on Netflix, the company even signed a deal with Shonda Rhimes, who has built an empire of black-themed TV shows.

Maybe this decision stems from the Netflix board, which consists of mainly white men and a few white women. Blacks only make up 4% of staff and leadership, while Latinos comprise 6% of staff and 5% of leadership. “Suffice to say, you won’t find Netflix on the Black Enterprise ‘50 Best Companies for Diversity’ list, noted the popular entrepreneurial magazine recently.



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