The Los Angeles Times’ Nicole Sperling has a great story that went up online this afternoon about Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson, who has been making waves throughout the somewhat stodgy organization since she started back in July. According to the story, a vocal minority on the Academy’s 43-member board has called for buying out the rest of Hudson’s three-year contract because she hasn’t made enough of an effort to learn the mechanics of the organization and makes decisions without consulting anyone.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that, as Sperling’s story points out, Hudson came into AMPAS as an outsider from the world of independent film, and she remains an outsider within the insular group. AMPAS is a change-averse organization — the easiest examples of this are the Oscar telecast and the decades-in-the-making movie museum plans — and is rumored to be an old boys’ club (6 of the 43 governors are woman; Annette Bening is an officer, serving as secretary). It’s no wonder that Hudson’s push to bring more diversity to the Academy and challenge to the status quo is not being met with the warmest of receptions.
But Hudson has two things on her side: The continuing support of Tom Sherak, which Sperling mentions in the story, and her two decades of experience running Film Independent. I, for one, am hoping that she can continue to weather the storm and make some more positive changes to one of the most important and powerful organizations in Hollywood.