Tuesday's eight-page document by The Recording Academy outlined the purpose and objectives of the rider. Producers are required to hire and recruit more diverse candidates on stage for the 64th annual awards ceremony, Jan. 31.
Harvey Mason, Jr., Academy CEO, said that he was proud of the initiative. The academy adopted the inclusion rider in August.
In a recent interview, he stated that the inclusion rider was something that would provide an opportunity for people who may not have one before. It's very important to me. If I didn't have the opportunity, I wouldn't be where it is today. I am trying to create pathways and ensure that there are areas for people to work in a system and climb their ways through it.
Grammy producers must audition, interview, and hire riders from historically and systematically excluded groups. Riders can be added to contracts.
The academy was founded in partnership with many groups, including the Color of Change, inclusion rider coauthors Kalpana Koltagal and Fanshen Cx DiGiovanni, Ryan Butler, who is the founding director of Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music Business, Howard University, and Valeisha Butterfly Jones, co-president of Recording Academy.
Kotagal, a civil-rights attorney, stated that the rider contains four key elements that will improve representation and equity. She stated that there is a commitment to diversifying the hiring pool, benchmarks, targets and hiring targets, as well as collection and analysis, and strict accountability for hiring.
Mason agreed with Kotagal's sentiments about holding people accountable and being determined to do the "real work," to create a pipeline of diverse talent. He believes in the idea that the academy should be "inclusive, diverse, and equitable."
Inclusion riders were brought to the forefront in 2018, when Frances McDormand spoke of them during her best actress Oscar acceptance speech. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Paul Feig, Paul Feig, and Michael B. Jordan all pledged to include inclusion riders in their productions.
Mason stated, "You won't find an organization that cares as much about diversity and moving in the right direction," Mason said. We are committed to this work. "I hope that we can be a leader in this space and make sure that people see that we are doing it in a way that makes them say, 'Oh, that academy got that right.'