A coup for Reginald Hudlin, I imagine! After producing the NAACP Image Awards on TV One over the last 3 years, helping to make that program a ratings hits for the network, he’s now been tapped (along with television producer David Hill) to produce the 88th Oscars telecast, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced via press release today.
“We’re delighted to have this talented team on board,” said Boone Isaacs. “David is a true innovator with a dynamic personality. His vast experience as a live events producer, coupled with Reggie’s energy, creativity and talent as a filmmaker, is sure to make this year’s Oscar telecast a memorable one.”
"What a great and exciting honor! The quest is to honor the year in film, honor the art, and above all, make it fun," said Hill.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Academy again,” added Hudlin, adding, “I love every kind of film and this year’s awards will be a celebration of the total range of cinema.”
“We’re excited to work with David and Reggie,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “With their enthusiasm and breadth of experience, they will bring a fresh perspective to the Oscar show.”
It’s worth noting that, last year, Hudlin produced the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards ceremony, so there’s already a working relationship there.
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
Today’s news comes a few days after Academy president Boone Isaacs announced that Spike Lee will be a recipient of an Honorary Oscar at this year’s Governors Awards ceremony.
"Our eyes are open," Boone Isaacs said. "This is where we get to recognize those who have contributed so much. It just happened this year to be two women and an African American male."
Boone Isaacs also said that Governors Award honorees were "part of the normalization" of the more than 7,000-member organization, which in the last three years has invited a larger, more diverse group of people to join.
The academy has been criticized for its overwhelmingly white, male membership – something that’s been very well documented, and that Boone Isaacs (who’s a black woman, in case you’re not aware), is intent on doing something about.
Bringing in Reggie Hudlin to produce the next Oscars is likely a move in that direction.
The obvious next question is whether next year’s Oscars host will be someone from an under-represented group.