Oscars: Cheryl Boone Isaacs Stepping Aside From Academy Board, Netflix Chief Throws Hat Into Ring (Exclusive)

Ted Sarandos, Jason Blum, Michael De Luca, Brett Ratner, Whoopi Goldberg and Ed Catmull are among the 157 Academy members contending for this year's board race in the first round of voting.
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Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a member of the Academy's board of governors for the better part of the last quarter-century, and the Academy's third female and first black president for the last four years, is not seeking re-election to the board, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Meanwhile, there are a number of big names among the 157 Academy members who have thrown their hat into the ring for this year's board race, which soon will result in a winnowing down of the ballot to no more than four candidates from each of the organization's 17 branches, from which each branch will pick a single representative in June. (Each branch also has two other representatives; terms are staggered so that only one comes up for election each year.)

They include Netflix chief Ted Sarandos, Sony Classics co-chief Michael Barker and CBS Films president Terry Press, Get Out producer Jason Blum, Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, Pixar and Disney president Ed Catmull, Martin Scorsese's longtime producer Irwin Winkler, Tom Cruise's former producing partner Paula Wagner, documentarian Morgan Spurlock, Weta chief Joe Letteri and actors Geena Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifah and Rita Wilson (whose husband, Tom Hanks, already serves on the board).

Also in the mix: several former board members who once served as officers — including past president Hawk Koch, past vice president Rob Friedman and past treasurer Dick Cook — as well as former marketing chief Christina Kounelias and Michael De Luca, who recently co-produced the 89th Oscars telecast.

Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms before "terming out" and having to take a year off before running again, while officers, such as the president, are chosen from and by the board for one-year terms, and are permitted no more than four consecutive terms in any one office. Boone Isaacs just completed her second three-year term on the board, and therefore would have been eligible to seek one more, but would not have been eligible to run for president again. Academy sources say that after a grueling four years in that office, she is looking forward to some time off.

"It's been my greatest honor serving on the Academy’s board of governors in numerous capacities for more than two decades, and it will be a privilege to provide the opportunity for new voices to have a seat at the table," Boone Isaacs said in a statement issued after this story's publication.

This year's field of first-round board contenders is notable for its diversity — of race, gender and age — which has been a top priority for the Academy under CEO Dawn Hudson (whose contract was renewed by the board last month) and Boone Isaacs. Candidates include John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave and the force behind TV's acclaimed American Crime; 91-year-old Marcia Nasatir; the first female to serve as a vice president at a major studio; Native American actor Lou Diamond Phillips; Mandy Walker, one of the industry's rare female cinematographers; and documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the only Pakistani to win multiple Oscars.

Some branches drew greater participation from members than others. The producers branch leads the field with 19 candidates, whereas the makeup and hairstyling branch drew only two. What follows is a list of the candidates in the running for each branch.

ACTORS (16) — incumbent Annette Bening has termed out

ANGEL TOMPKINS

TOM BOWER

GEENA DAVIS

WHOOPI GOLDBERG

RICHARD T HERD

SALLY KIRKLAND

MONTE MARKHAM

RICHARD MASUR

TIM MATHESON

CHRISTOPHER MITCHUM

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS

LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS

QUEEN LATIFAH

JENNIFER WARREN

JACKI WEAVER

RITA WILSON

CASTING DIRECTORS (4)

KERRY BARDEN

LORA KENNEDY — incumbent

JOSEPH MIDDLETON

ILENE STARGER

CINEMATOGRAPHERS (9) — incumbent Caleb Deschanel is not seeking re-election

DION BEEBE

RUSSELL P CARPENTER

RICHARD P CRUDO

STEVEN FIERBERG

MICHAEL GOI

SHANE HURLBUT

GUILLERMO NAVARRO

ROY WAGNER

MANDY WALKER

COSTUME DESIGNERS (3) — incumbent Jeffrey Kurland has termed out

JUDIANNA MAKOVSKY

ELLEN MIROJNICK

ISIS MUSSENDEN

DESIGNERS (6) — incumbent Rick Carter is not seeking re-election

ROSEMARY BRANDENBURG

CHARLES BREEN

JOHN F DECUIR, JR

MELISSA STEWART

WYNN P THOMAS

THOMAS A WALSH

DIRECTORS (7) — Edward Zwick is not seeking re-election

JOHN BADHAM

LOUIS JAMES FARGO

KASI LEMMONS

PHILIPPE MORA

KIMBERLY PEIRCE

DONALD M PETRIE

BRETT RATNER

DOCUMENTARY (11)

KATE AMEND — incumbent

JULIE GOLDMAN

KAREN GOODMAN

PIRJO HONKASALO

LYNNE LITTMAN

SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY

MICHELE OHAYON

ARNOLD SCHWARTZMAN

MORGAN SPURLOCK

MOLLY THOMPSON

LUCY WALKER

EXECUTIVES (13)

PAM ABDY

MICHAEL W BARKER

JOSEPH N COHEN

DICK COOK

DANIEL R FELLMAN — incumbent

LUCY FISHER

DEVON FRANKLIN

JON JASHNI

DAVID LINDE

ERIK LOMIS

JAMES W MORRIS

MARCIA NASATIR

TED SARANDOS

FILM EDITORS (8)

DODY J DORN

MARK HELFRICH

TINA HIRSCH

MICHAEL JABLOW

BONNIE KOEHLER

RICHARD MARKS

DAVID ROSENBLOOM

MICHAEL TRONICK — incumbent

MAKEUP ARTISTS AND HAIRSTYLISTS (2)

KATHRYN L BLONDELL — incumbent

MARTIN SAMUEL

MUSIC (6)

ALAN BERGMAN

CHARLES BERNSTEIN — incumbent

JOHN C DEBNEY

CHARLES FOX

WILLIAM GOLDSTEIN

ARTHUR HAMILTON

PRODUCERS (19)

ALBERT BERGER — incumbent

JASON BLUM

MICHAEL DE LUCA

MICHAEL FITZGERALD

DAVID T FRIENDLY

ROSS KATZ

HAWK KOCH

ROBERT LANTOS

LORI MCCREARY

BARRY MENDEL

CHRIS MOORE

GAIL MUTRUX

ALEX ROSE

PETER SAMUELSON

SUZANNE TODD

DIMITRI VILLARD

PAULA WAGNER

IRWIN WINKLER

NINA YANG BONGIOVI

PUBLIC RELATIONS (15) — incumbent Cheryl Boone Isaacs is not seeking re-election

TONY ANGELLOTTI

BRUCE R FELDMAN

STEVEN F FLYNN

ROB FRIEDMAN

SETH GAVEN

KEVIN GOETZ

EDWARD KALISH

MICHAEL KAPLAN

CHRISTINA KOUNELIAS

SANTIAGO POZO

TERESA PRESS

MICHELE ROBERTSON

MICHAEL ROSENBERG

IRA RUBENSTEIN

RICKY STRAUSS

SHORT FILMS AND FEATURE ANIMATION (12) — incumbent Bob Rogers is not seeking re-election

TONY ANSELMO

TONY BANCROFT

MITCHELL W BLOCK

DARLIE BREWSTER

EDWIN CATMULL

JORGEN KLUBIEN

BOB KURTZ

BRANDON OLDENBURG

JAMES SCOTT

THOMAS R SITO

ANDREW SUGERMAN

CHRIS TASHIMA

SOUND (12)

BOBBI BANKS

TERI E DORMAN

NICHOLAS ELIOPOULOS

ROBERT J KIZER

ANNA MACKENZIE

MARK MANGINI — incumbent

JAMES HARLEY MATHER

F HUDSON MILLER

PAUL N J OTTOSSON

VICTORIA ROSE SAMPSON

BRUCE TANIS

DAVID WHITE

VISUAL EFFECTS (10)

LESLIE B BERNSTIEN

RICHARD EDLUND

JONATHAN ERLAND

JOE LETTERI

JEFFREY A OKUN

J KEVIN PIKE

JOSHUA PINES

THERESA ELLIS RYGIEL

BILL TAYLOR — incumbent

WILLIAM (BILL) VILLARREAL

WRITERS (4) — incumbent Phil Alden Robinson has termed out

LARRY KARASZEWSKI

ALINE BROSH MCKENNA

JOHN RIDLEY

DANA STEVENS

UPDATED [10:42am PST] with Boone Isaacs statement.

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