Musical producer

Producer Janet Yang elected President of the FIlm Academy

Film producer Janet Yang, director of Janet Yang Productions, speaks following a contract signing event held as part of the Beijing International Film Festival in Beijing on April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

By JAKE COYLE, Associated Press

NEW YORK – Producer Janet Yang has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group’s board of governors announced on Tuesday, making her the first Asian American to lead the academy. movie theater.

Yang, the 66-year-old producer of “The Joy Luck Club” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” becomes the fourth woman to lead the organization behind the Oscars. Elected by the academy’s 54-member board, Yang succeeds outgoing president David Rubin, the veteran casting director, who is stepping down after three years due to term limits.

In this June 1, 2014 file photo, Janet Yang arrives at the Huading Film Awards held at the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Along with academy general manager Bill Kramer, the former director of the academy museum who was appointed to the role in June, Yang will be responsible for leading the academy through the continued evolution of the film industry and to stabilize the Oscars, which in recent years have been plagued by scandal and declining ratings.

Born in Queens, Yang, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, has long been a prominent figure in Hollywood’s Asian American community. She has served on the academy’s board of governors since 2019 as one of three governors-at-large who were added in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite scandal to help bolster inclusion at the film academy.

Yang, executive producer of the 2020 Oscar-nominated animated film “Over the Moon,” is only the second person of color to serve as president of the academy, after Cheryl Boone Isaacs. She also co-chairs the academy’s Asian affinity group.

“Janet is an extremely dedicated and strategic leader who has an incredible record of service to the academy,” Kramer said in a statement. “She has been instrumental in initiating and elevating several academy initiatives on membership recruitment, governance, equity, diversity and inclusion.”

After several years of declining ratings, March’s Oscars show drew larger audiences than the 2021 show, but its 16.6 million viewers were still the second-smallest on record. The telecast, of course, was marred by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage. Smith has since resigned his academy membership and was banned from attending any academy events for the next decade.

Janet Yang’s credits as producer include “The Joy Luck Club” (1993), in which all the main characters were Asian women.