It was announced on Tuesday, August 2nd, by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that producer Janet Yang had been elected president of the organization. Yang is the first Asian American to hold the position of president of the film academy.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has appointed Jennifer Yang, the 66-year-old producer of The Joy Luck Club and The People vs. Larry Flynt, as its new president. Yang is the fourth woman to head the organization that is responsible for the Oscars. Yang will take over as president of the Academy from outgoing president David Rubin, a renowned casting director who is stepping down after three years owing to term constraints. Yang was elected by the Academy’s 54-member board.
Alongside academy chief executive Bill Kramer, who was the former director of the Academy Museum and was named to the post in June, Yang will be tasked with shepherding the academy through continued evolution in the film industry and with stabilizing the Academy Awards, which in recent years have been beset by scandal and declining ratings. In addition, Yang will be tasked with bringing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences back to its former prominence.
Yang, who was born in Queens and is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, has been an influential person in the Asian American community in Hollywood for a very long time. Since 2019, she has been one of the three governors-at-large that were added to the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in order to assist promote inclusivity within the film academy.
After Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Yang is just the second person of color to hold the position of President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Yang is an executive producer of the animated feature Over the Moon, which is nominated for an Oscar in 2020. In addition to that, she is one of the co-chairs of the Asian Affinity Group at the school.
In a statement, Kramer referred to Janet as someone who possesses “an extraordinary record of service at the academy” and described her as “a wonderfully dedicated and strategic leader. She has been a key part in creating and elevating various academy projects on membership recruitment, governance, as well as equality, diversity, and inclusion.”
The Academy Awards telecast in March attracted a greater audience than the program in 2021, but its 16.6 million viewers was still the second-smallest on record. This comes after several years of dwindling ratings for the show. The telecast was obviously ruined when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock when he was performing on stage. Since then, Smith has given up his membership in the academy, and he is not permitted to attend any events hosted by the academy for the next ten years.