According to the Huffington Post, the Television Academy appointed Hayma “Screech” Washington as CEO and chairman. He is the first African American to hold the role in the academy’s 70-year history, the report says.
Washington, who was appointed in November, has won several Emmy awards for his work as an executive producer for the show Amazing Race on CBS. Additionally, he owns a production company, Screechers Pix, and worked at Walt Disney Studios. Washington has also served as a producer for the MTV Video Music Awards, the ESPYs, and the 39th Emmy Awards, notes the HuffPo.
Washington served a five-year term as a governor for the Television Academy’s producers division prior to taking on this position.
“I am honored to have been selected to lead the Academy and look forward to serving our membership alongside the governors, executive committee, Foundation and staff,” Washington told Variety. “This is a time of considerable change for our industry and I am deeply committed to ensuring that the Academy is at the forefront as we move towards a more inclusive future.”
His two-year term will begin on January 1. The appointment is one of the many efforts to diversify the ranks of entertainment. In June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 683 new members to join, most of whom were people of color and women.