Open Letter from Academy President, David Rubin and Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson
Los Angeles, Calif. – The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.
During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.
This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.
Los Angeles, Calif. – Dawn Hudson, chief executive officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced today that, after a successful and transformational tenure, this current term will be her last as Academy CEO.
“After more than ten years and the incredibly successful opening of our new museum, I’ve decided, when this term concludes, it will be time for me to explore other opportunities and adventures as this can hardly be topped,” said Hudson. “We’ve achieved so much together that’s been most important to me — our ongoing commitment to representation and inclusion; adapting the Academy into a digitally sophisticated global institution; and creating the world’s premier movie museum that will be the destination of film fans for decades. The Board of Governors and I are mutually committed to a seamless transition to new leadership. I’m excited for what the future holds, for both the Academy and for me.”
“Dawn has been, and continues to be, a groundbreaking leader for the Academy. Advancements in the diversity and gender parity of our membership, our increased international presence, and the successful opening of a world-class Academy Museum — a project she revived, guided and championed — are already part of her legacy. I know the Board of Governors joins me in looking forward to our collaboration with Dawn in the many months ahead, as we map out a plan for succession,” said Academy President David Rubin.
Hudson joined the Academy as CEO in 2011. In her role, she oversees the Academy’s 450-person staff in Los Angeles, New York and London; operations and outreach, including awards, membership, marketing, communications, finance and technology; the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Academy Foundation. The Foundation includes educational initiatives, fellowships and grants, the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive.
With Hudson at the helm building and overseeing its financial assets, including the Oscars®, the Academy has become more accessible to its members and people around the world. The institution has achieved advances in technology and the modernization of its infrastructure, which have enabled greater global outreach, member communications and events, online voting and streaming on the Academy Screening Room, and a significantly expanded social media presence.
Under her leadership, Hudson has driven significant diversity, inclusion and representation initiatives across the Academy membership, governance and staff. As a result, the Academy more than doubled the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities within its membership through the A2020 initiative, bringing in the most diverse class in the organization’s history at that time. Hudson also oversaw the creation of Aperture 2025, establishing inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility, to further the Academy’s efforts to advance representation in the entertainment industry.
Hudson was integral to the development of the Academy Museum, which opened to the public in September and is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts and sciences of moviemaking.
A search for Hudson’s successor will soon be underway, and she will have a vital role in the transition.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
“After more than ten years and the incredibly successful opening of our new museum, I’ve decided, when this term concludes, it will be time for me to explore other opportunities and adventures as this can hardly be topped,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.