8.06.2013

The Academy Joins the 21st Century

Meet Cheryl Boone Isaacs, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences newest president.  It's the first time in its 86 year history that an African American has held the position and only the third woman.

From The Los Angeles Times:
Veteran Hollywood marketer Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been elected the first African American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out the Oscars each year.

Isaacs, a longtime academy insider who most recently held the job of first vice president, will serve a one-year term with eligibility to stay in the role for three additional years.

She was elected Tuesday evening over governor Rob Friedman, Lionsgate motion picture group co-chair, by the academy's 48-member board of governors.

Isaacs, a marketing and publicity consultant who previously worked at New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures, has served in every office within the organization except president.

Most recently she produced the 2012 Governors Awards.

The election of Isaacs comes at a time when the academy is interested in addressing the issue of diversity. A 2012 Los Angeles Times survey found that the academy was overwhelmingly white, male and older. Though outgoing president Hawk Koch and academy chief executive officer Dawn Hudson have made strides to increase the diversity within the organization — eliminating the quota system for electing members, bringing in additional women to the board — the group is still predominantly male and white.

The addition of Isaacs to the top post means the academy will now be run by two women, including Hudson.
Hopefully, this move toward diversity by the Academy will open the eyes of the film studios as well.  Although honestly, I won't be holding my breath.  I don't trust them, and they really haven't given me a reason to.  The bigwigs in charge seem perfectly content to keep green-lighting big-budget flops and destined-to-fail TV shows rather than do right by POC with any real consistency.

If nothing else, maybe we'll at least get to see a much wider pool of actors, actresses, directors, and screenwriters being nominated for--and winning--Oscars in the future.  One can only hope.  But at this point, I'm so jaded by Hollywood's long history of bullshit that I'll believe it when I see it.  And maybe not even then.

9 comments:

  1. "Although honestly, I won't be holding my breath. I don't trust them, and they really haven't given me a reason to."

    This. I don't want to goat-mouth her achievement, but H-Wood has been proven untrustworthy towards POCs and women, especially Black people/women, for so long that I can't even muster up hope for change. I'm applauding Ms./Mrs. Isaacs while keeping my HollyWTF?!Side-eye on full power.

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    1. You took the words right out of my mouth.

      By all means, congrats to her and her space in the history books. But let's be real...we're not going to see more brown people in Hollywhite. The trailblazers won't get more recognition. The awards will continue to go to us so long as we play slaves and maids and butlers and stereotypes.

      In fact, I bet her tenure as president will be used as justification and racial insurance when business continues as usual, a la Obama. You know... "How can the Oscars be racist/sexist when its president is a woman?"

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  2. Man, if Fruitvale Station isn't nominated for Best Picture and Michael B. Jordan isn't nominated for Best Actor, I'll know the fix is in. I know it's still early, but if there is a movie and a performance that deserves it, that's the one.

    ~ cinnamon

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    1. Went to see it also two weeks ago and I lucked up on seeing it. Initially, I was going to see Wolverine and it was filled so the movie attendant let me see another movie at a slightly later time so I went to see Fruitvale.It was sad, but the acting was superb. Michael definitely deserves to be Best Actor. That movie also got sold out. I may have missed out on Wolverine but it was a blessing in disguise. I'm glad that I got to see Fruitvale Station ..and came in right on time to see it.

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  3. I congratulate Cheryl Boone for her appointment. That's a rarity in Hollywood... I still don't trust Hollywood and I wouldn't want for this to be a case of her being set up for failure.

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    1. I think they are. Most films coming out of Hollywood right now are pure shit. I'm talking back to back flops. Nothing better than a black person to blame it all on.

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  4. @Ankh

    Another trend that I've noticed in H-wood lately are films that by their very nature excludes or virtually excludes POC (fantasy, fairy tale, period pieces, etc). There've been a ton of them released over the last few years, and the overwhelming lack of diversity from just the trailers alone is staggering. And blatant. Same with TV.

    You'd think that as the country grows more and more diverse and open-minded, the entertainment industry would be doing the same. But it seems TPTB are doing the complete opposite. Seems purposeful to me.

    ~ cinnamon

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    1. Damn straight. They're catering to the fantasy of a world without brown people.

      But alas...we live in a brown world. Always have.

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    2. And then you have ass-clowns who should know better talking about how 'Black films' alienate audiences. That's funny...somehow 99.9% white films are Universal Narratives, but the same quota of melanin renders people unable to frigging can. Amazing, huh.

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