Black Panther's Michael B Jordan adopts an inclusion rider for his company

 Actor Michael B Jordan announced that his company, Outlier Society Productions, would adopt inclusion riders for its projects.
Actor Michael B Jordan announced that his company, Outlier Society Productions, would adopt inclusion riders for its projects.PHOTO: MARVEL STUDIOS

(NYTIMES) - When Frances McDormand used the closing of her best actress acceptance speech at the Academy Awards on Sunday to promote inclusion riders, a contract clause for actors that would require filmmakers to meet diversity bench marks in their cast and crew, she jolted the idea into national consciousness.

It raised the question of when the first A-list star would insist on one in his or her own contract.

That still hasn't happened. But Wednesday, actor Michael B Jordan took a step, announcing that his company, Outlier Society Productions, would adopt the rider for its projects.

The announcement made him the first major actor to publicly adopt the idea since McDormand's speech. But Jordan, the villain of Black Panther and the hero of Creed, gave no indication that he would require the rider for the blockbuster movies he performs in.

Instead, Jordan pledged that Outlier would meet certain diversity requirements, though it was not immediately known what specific requirements the company would hold itself to.

"I've been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of colour throughout my career, and it's Outlier's mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward," he wrote on Instagram.

Outlier, founded in 2016, is producing Raising Dion, a 10-episode drama about a single mother raising a superhero. Jordan, one of the show's executive producers, will also act in the series, which is due on Netflix in 2019.

The company is also developing a reboot of The Thomas Crown Affair, and Jordan will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of The Stars Beneath Our Feet. It was not immediately known whether the inclusion rider would apply to those projects and others underway.

A publicist for Jordan could not immediately be reached for comment.

As explained by Stacy Smith, who researches gender equality in film and television at the University Of Southern California, inclusion riders would increase the representation of women, people of colour and members of LGBT communities on screen and behind the camera. As an example, it might require the cast be 50 percent female, 40 percent underrepresented ethnic groups, 20 percent people with disabilities and 5 percent LGBT people.

Smith said she hoped top Hollywood stars would require the rider before they appear in films, making it difficult for studios to attract the biggest names without a commitment to diversity.

On Thursday, Smith said she was thrilled that someone "at the heartbeat of culture" would offer his support. Other actors have reached out through representatives "on a fact-finding journey" but Jordan was the first to go public with his support of the idea, she said.

"This is a win on every level," she said. "We're hopeful this is one of many to come."