Stop Hollywood before it discriminates again

I didn’t watch the Academy Awards last night. Like Steve, I haven’t watched this extravaganza in decades.

Reportedly, Frances McDormand, in the speech that followed her award as best actress, endorsed the use of “inclusion riders.” Apparently, these are clauses that highly sought-after actors stick into their contracts. They demand “diversity” in the hiring of other employees.

The need for such riders, if need there be, implies that Hollywood — leftist, self-righteous, preachy Hollywood — isn’t controlled just by sexual predators. It is also controlled by racists.

Say it ain’t so.

Roger Clegg argues that inclusion riders may well be illegal:

The devil is in the details, but just to give you the idea: Suppose that a top salesman for a company said that he’ll continue to work there only if no African Americans are hired. The employer agreeing to such condition would clearly be in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans employment discrimination by private employers.

And suppose that an actress says that she’ll do a picture only if the company making it agrees to hire according to racial, ethnic, and gender quotas. Well, if such quotas are illegal — and they are — then such an inclusion rider would be illegal, too.

Clegg is right. A hortatory inclusion rider inclusion rider would not be illegal in my view, though it could, depending on the employer’s actual hiring patterns, be used as evidence of unlawful discrimination. But a hard-and-fast requirement that members of certain groups be hired without regard to who is best qualified would require the employer to do that which is unlawful.

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