Frances McDormand’s win for best actress in a leading role for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was hardly a surprise.
She took home just about every other acting award for playing Mildred Hayes, a woman whose rage over her daughter’s unsolved rape and murder creates a domino effect of violence and destruction in her small town.
In a rousing speech, McDormand ended with a call for increased diversity across Hollywood.
“I have two words to leave with you tonight: inclusion rider,” she said.
An “inclusion rider” is a clause that an actor can insist be included in their contract to ensure gender and racial equality on the cast and crew of a film they are working on.
The term was introduced by Stacy Smith, the founder and director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. After examining the data on diversity in Hollywood, she suggested that an “inclusion rider” could be part of the solution.
McDormand also recognized the female nominees in every category by asking them to stand up.
The Oscar for best actress, traditionally presented by the previous year’s best actor, was instead announced by Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster. Casey Affleck took home last year’s trophy for “Manchester by the Sea” but withdrew from presenting in January.
His win had generated controversy due to accusations of sexual harassment made against him in 2010 by a producer and cinematographer who worked on his film “I’m Still Here.” Affleck denied the allegations and the lawsuits were eventually settled out of court.