First Asian-American president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences

First Asian-American elected as president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Janet Yang, a Hollywood producer with film credits including “The Joy Luck Club” (1993), “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996) and Oscar-nominated animated feature “Over the Moon” (2020), has been elected as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Yang becomes the first Asian-American person, and only the fourth woman in the Academy’s history to hold the position. 

Former female presidents include screenwriter Fay Kanin, marketing executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs and actress Bette Davis. 

The Academy’s Board of Governors elected Yang this week, as she enters her second term as a Governor-at-Large.

Academy CEO, Bill Kramer, said Yang is “a tremendously dedicated and strategic leader who has an incredible record of service at the Academy.“

“I am thrilled that she is taking on the esteemed role of Academy President and look forward to working closely with her on our shared vision to serve our membership, celebrate the collaborative arts and sciences of motion pictures, and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.”

Yang will follow a prestigious group of former presidents including director Frank Pierson and actors Karl Malden and Gregory Peck.

Yang has been a member of the Academy’s Producers Branch for two decades, and recently served as vice president and chair of the Membership Committee.

The 66-year old Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning producer is also co-chair of the Academy’s Asian Affinity Group.

In 1995, she was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 50” off the back of her Emmy Award for her HBO movie “Indictment: The McMartin Trial.” 

In her interview for the magazine’s Women in Entertainment Special Issue, Yang said: “I often find myself in a roomful of women — other executives, writers, directors, producers. So we are not faring too badly.”

“I am never conscious of it until we spend a few minutes after the meetings talking ‘girl talk’. But the uppermost echelons, the people who control the money, are still men, and there is still a sense that, if we f*ck up, boy will they notice!”

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