Michael B. Jordan has been making some great business moves as of late, setting himself up for a legendary career. Most may remember first seeing the budding actor in his role as Wallace in HBO’s The Wire. We then saw him showcase his range when he portrayed Oscar Grant in Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. It was then that people knew Michael B. Jordan had “it.”
Since then, Michael B. Jordan has been the breakout star in films like Red Tails, Creed and Black Panther, but it’s his work behind the scenes that has truly given him a voice in the entertainment industry.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Jordan had adopted an inclusion rider for his company, Outlier Society Productions. An inclusion rider holds filmmakers and production companies accountable for meeting diversity benchmarks in their cast and crew. For Jordan, this would mean more women and people of color working on sets he is a part of.
“I’ve been privileged to work with powerful woman & persons of color throughout my career,” says Jordan. “It’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward.”
Michael B. Jordan put his inclusion rider to the test with the help of Frances McDormand. In September, McDormand and Jordan had WarnerMedia launch a company-wide inclusion rider as they worked on the film Just Mercy, which Michael B. Jordan both stars in and executive produced.
“It wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realized we could standardize this practice,” said Jordan. “It allowed me to formally pledge my production company, Outlier Society, to a way of doing business … I’m proud that our film, Just Mercy, will be the first to formally represent the future we have been working toward, together. This is a legacy-bearing moment.”
Even before he announced that he would be adopting an inclusion rider, Michael B. Jordan was all about empowering women of color, specifically black women, within his company. In January, Outlier Society Productions, which was founded in 2016, named Alana Mayo as its Head of Production and Development. Mayo hails from Vimeo where she was Head of Originals. Before that, she spent time at Paramount where she worked on films such as The Big Short, Selma, and Fences.
Michael B. Jordan’s fight for inclusion doesn’t stop at his company, however. The heartthrob actor wasn’t afraid to admit that often times he purposely auditions for roles written for white males despite being very much the opposite.
“I told my agents, ‘I don’t want to go out for any role that’s written for African-Americans in the breakdown,’” Jordan recalled during an interview with Variety. “I said, ‘I want to go for any white males. That’s it. That’s all I want to do.’ Because me playing that role is going to make it what it is.”
According to Jordan, his agents believed in him as much as he believed in himself and did not push back, which allowed for him to take on roles that could have easily been written for any ethnicity (see: Kin, Fantastic Four, Fahrenheit 451.)
Michael B. Jordan’s voice is not loud and boisterous, but it is just as powerful. It’s powerful because he doesn’t just talk about doing things, he actually gets them done. In fact, he goes as far as to do it himself if he needs to. This is how we continue to push the culture forward.
Most of all, what Michael B. Jordan does that pushes the culture forward is maintain his bond and brotherhood with Ryan Coogler. The two have worked together on Black Panther, Creed, and Fruitvale Station and continue to create more projects together. They’re like soul ties that work great independently but when they come together, it’s undeniable magic.
“He’s the reason why I have the self-confidence to go out there and do it behind the camera,” Jordan says of Coogler’s influence. “To see somebody my age taking care of however many hundreds of millions of dollars this [movie] is, it’s inspiring. It lets me know that I can do that as well.”
We are happy to see Michael B. Jordan continue to grow and find his voice on and off camera. In no time, he will come into full form as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
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