A Hypocrite on Her Marquee Issue

Kalpana Kotagal talks a big talk when it comes to diversity, but the partners in her firm are as white as the driven snow.


Kalpana Kotagal is most famous for drafting the inclusion rider for Hollywood actors who feel guilty about not hiring enough minorities and want something in their contract to assuage their white guilt. To get a flavor of the inclusion rider it includes mandates like:

The individual(s) responsible for hiring for off-screen roles will interview individuals from under-represented groups for 40-50% of offscreen positions, encompassing as many roles as possible

You'd think having drafted a contract with requirements like that, the partners at her firm , Cohen Milstein, would be incredibly diverse, representing the rainbow that is America. Of course they're not.


Of the 37 partners listed on the firm's website:

  • 20 are white men.

  • One is a black woman

  • Zero are black men.

Now in fairness you cannot tell from the headshots how many of the white men are pregnant, thereby checking a different diversity box.

Kidding aside, Kotagal is a typical do as I say not as I do liberal. She wants to force Hollywood studios to adopt the inclusion rider with its numerical mandates for minority hiring, even if the person is unqualified, but her firm's most senior ranks - the Partners - looks like every other law firm in America, mostly white men.