The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that it has hired Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain to produce the upcoming Oscar.
Howell Taylor and Allain have deep film curricula, particularly in the independent film world, and have been strong advocates of bringing new and underrepresented voices to the cinema, an issue that has been central to the academy's mission in recent years. But they are new to the task of producing the Oscar broadcast – a high-profile, high-risk work that has become increasingly challenging as the entertainment landscape continues to fragment.
Howell Taylor's production credits include 2018's "A Star Is Born," for which she received a nomination for best film, as well as "The Accountant," "Captain Fantastic," "Captain Fantastic," "Blue Valentine," and " Half Nelson ”. Allain, who was an outspoken advocate of increasing diversity in cinema, produced films such as "Hustle & Flow," "Black Snake Moan," "Beyond the Lights," and "Dear White People." Previously, she served as director of Los Angeles. The Film Festival and its producer, Homegrown Pictures, focus on the content of women and people of color.
"Lynette and Stephanie's combined production talents will bring dynamism and excitement to the 92nd Oscar show," Academy President David Rubin said in a statement. “His vast production experience ranges from innovative independent film to global audience success. We look forward to collaborating with them to bring an unforgettable Oscar event to film fans from around the world. "
"We both watched the Oscars for as long as we can remember, and having the opportunity to produce the show is a dream," Howell Taylor and Allain said in a joint statement. "It's an honor and a thrill to join forces to deliver a fun show that celebrates the art of this year's best movies."
In an effort to stem the steady decline in Oscar broadcast ratings, the academy promised last year to limit the length of the ceremony to three hours. Donna Gigliotti's February broadcast audience increased about 12% from the lowest level reached in 2018.
For the first time in 30 years, the broadcast continued without a host after Kevin Hart dropped out amid controversy over past homophobic jokes. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming Oscar will be equally hostile or mark the return of a traditional emcee. Allain and Howell Taylor were not available for comment.
The 92nd Oscar will be held on February 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and will be screened on ABC.