LOS ANGELES (AP) — A veteran producer is the newly elected chief executive of the Television Academy and the first African-American to hold the post in the organization’s 70 years.
The academy said Thursday its board of governors elected Hayma “Screech” Washington as chairman and CEO. Washington, an award-winning producer, has served as co-governor of the producers’ branch of the academy.READ MORE: How To Watch The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards
A former Walt Disney Co. executive, he’s worked on programs including sports, awards and music shows and won seven Emmys as an executive producer for “The Amazing Race.” He produces and directs through his own company.
Washington’s two-year tenure begins Jan. 1. He succeeds outgoing chief executive Bruce Rosenblum, who hit a term-limits ceiling after five years heading the group that presents the prime-time Emmy Awards.READ MORE: Man Struck Multiple Times In Daylight Shooting In Riverside
In 2013, Cheryl Boone Isaacs became the first African-American head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The movie academy has faced harsh criticism over the lack of minorities among Oscar nominees, with efforts made to diversify the academy’s membership.
Washington takes over an organization that has been seen as more inclusive in its honors, with 2016 winners including Rami Malek, Courtney B. Vance and Regina King. Television itself is rapidly transforming as it expands to include streaming platforms as well as broadcast and cable.
“This is a time of considerable change for our industry and I am deeply committed to ensuring that the academy is at the forefront as we move towards a more inclusive future,” Washington said in a statementMORE NEWS: Emmys Vow A Good Time After Bleak Year; 'Crown' May Rule
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