The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that it has tapped Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain to produce the next Oscars.
Howell Taylor and Allain both have deep movie résumés, particularly in the world of independent film, and have been strong supporters of bringing new and underrepresented voices to cinema, an issue that has been central to the academy’s mission in recent years. But they are newcomers to the task of producing the Oscars telecast — a high-stakes, high-profile job that has grown ever more challenging as the entertainment landscape continues to fracture.
Howell Taylor’s credits as a producer include 2018’s “A Star Is Born,” for which she received a best picture nomination, as well as “The Accountant,” “Captain Fantastic,” “Blue Valentine” and “Half Nelson.” Allain, who has been an outspoken advocate of increased diversity in cinema, has produced such films as “Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Beyond the Lights” and “Dear White People.” She formerly served as the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival and her production company, Homegrown Pictures, focuses on content by and about women and people of color.
“The combined producing talents of Lynette and Stephanie will bring dynamism and excitement to the 92nd Oscars show,” academy president David Rubin said in a statement. “Their vast production experience ranges from groundbreaking independent film to global blockbuster. We look forward to collaborating with them to bring an unforgettable Oscars event to movie fans around the world.”
“We have both watched the Oscars for as long as we can remember, and to be given 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 an entertaining show that celebrates the artistry of this year’s best films.”
In an effort to stem the steady decline in ratings for the Oscars telecast, the academy vowed last year to limit the ceremony’s often bloated running time to three hours. Viewership for February’s telecast, which was produced by Donna Gigliotti, was up roughly 12% from the all-time low reached in 2018.
For the first time in 30 years, that telecast went on with no host after Kevin Hart dropped out amid controversy over past homophobic jokes. It remains to be seen whether the next Oscars will be similarly hostless or mark the return of a traditional emcee. Allain and Howell Taylor were unavailable to comment.
The 92nd Oscars will be held on Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will air on ABC.