Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elects First Black President

Is change finally coming to Hollywood?

By Jamilah King Jul 31, 2013

Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She’s the first African-American and third woman to lead the powerful 86-year-old organization that’s responsible for the Oscars.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

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.


Boone Isaacs succeeds Hawk Koch, who served as Academy president for the past year, but ran up against term limits after completing nine successive years on the board. A longtime Academy insider, Boone Isaacs represents the public relations branch on the board and is currently serving her 21st year as a governor, having returned to the board in 2011 after a hiatus. For the past year, she served as first vp while also producing the fourth annual Governors Awards in December.

It’s an important moment atop Hollywood’s hierachy. As we pointed out last year, the group that votes for the Oscars is 94 percent white — despite a rapidly diversifying movie-going demographic.