Academy of Motion Pictures Elects African-American Woman as President


Pretty great: Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Yes, The Academy. That Academy. The folks who award Oscars.

As The Hollywood Reporter notes:

Boone Isaacs, a marketing executive who has served stints at Paramount and New Line, is the first African-American to head the 86-year-old Academy and only the third woman to serve as president. Actress Bette Davis held the post for just two months in 1941, and screenwriter Fay Kanin served for four years from 1979-83.

Boone Isaacs has worked as a consultant on films like The Artist, The King’s Speech and Precious, and she’s a long-time Academy insider. For years, we’ve been hearing that Hollywood has a problem with women. Could Boone Isaacs’ office — alongside Kathryn Bigelow’s continued success, Katie Dippold’s hit screenplay for The Heat, and the fact that Mellody Hobson is chairman at DreamWorks Animation — mean there’s a bit of progress being made?

Maybe. Let’s not forget that since the Oscars started in 1929, over 400 Best Director nominations have been given out, and only four have gone to women. Bigelow remains the only woman to have won an Oscar for Best Director. Women buy 50% of all movie tickets but only get 33% of all speaking roles. We have a long way to go.


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