Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elects 1st black president

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elected marketing executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs as its new president this week. Isaacs is the first black president of the Academy in its 86-year history,  and the third woman to hold the post. Boone Isaacs is a marketing consultant who has worked at New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures; and has the most Academy experience: she has been vice president, treasurer, secretary and president of the Academy Foundation.

In a statement today, Isaacs said that one of her first priorities as president will be to revamp the Academy Awards themselves.


“I have a meeting with the producers later today, in fact,” Isaacs said via telephone.

This year’s Awards received some criticism for host Seth MacFarlane‘s often-crude and offensive humor. While she will be bringing back Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, last year’s producers; she made it clear that changes will be made. “Right off the bat, it will not be the same show,” she said.


The last woman to be named president was Fay Kanin, from 1979 to 1983.

Isaacs’  immediate tasks include overseeing renewal of deals with Dawn Hudson, the academy’s chief executive, and Ric Robertson, its chief operating officer, whose contracts are set to expire next year. Isaacs also plans for the academy to break ground on a movie museum in Los Angeles next year.

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