NAACP Lauds First Black Head of Film Academy

WI Web Staff | 8/1/2013, 12:28 p.m.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs (Courtesy of oscars.org)

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was named the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday, the first-ever African-American to assume the position.

Isaacs, a distinguished marketing and publicity consultant, previously worked at New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. At the Academy, she served as first vice president and has worked in every office within the organization. Her role will include selecting a host for the Oscars telecast.

The Academy, which produces the annual Oscar ceremony, has not had a female president since 1983, and has never had an African-American president in its 86-year history.

"We recognize the election of Cheryl Boone Isaacs as an historic moment in Hollywood," said NAACP President Ben Jealous. "This appointment sends a clear message to the rest of Hollywood. We believe her selection will encourage the studios and networks to empower more women and minorities throughout the entertainment industry."

In July, the Academy invited 276 new members from various backgrounds in an attempt to expand racial and ethnic diversity among its voting members.

"Cheryl Boone Isaacs is a wonderful selection for an organization that is seeking to expand diversity and inclusion," said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. "As one racial barrier is broken, we are excited to see what Ms. Isaacs will do to break down even more barriers in the industry."

The Academy also hired former NAACP Hollywood Bureau Executive Director Vicangelo Bulluck as managing director of outreach and strategic initiatives.

"Cheryl Boone Isaacs' appointment is another step in the right direction for the Academy and diversity in Hollywood," said Robin Harrison of the NAACP's Hollywood bureau. "We congratulate her and look forward to the Academy's work and influence under her new leadership."