Jeanell English has resigned from her role as executive vp impact and inclusion at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a year after beginning in that position.
English was promoted to the then-newly created position in July 2022, reporting directly to Academy CEO Bill Kramer. She led the organization’s initiatives to address underrepresentation across the industry and oversaw its talent development programs, known as Academy Gold. Prior to being executive vp, English served as vp impact and operations for eight months and as the head of the office of representation, inclusion and equity for a year.
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English announced that she had resigned from her role during a panel about destigmatizing mental health for emerging and practicing filmmakers on Thursday night.
“In my career — and I’ve had a lot of jobs in my career — a foundational element of my decision-making process and how I manage my career has always been grounded in mental health,” she said after sharing the news. “How am I doing? How am I feeling? How does this align to my values? And I encourage you, all as you grow and focus and develop your careers, to really prioritize that moment, to center yourself and reflect on: Does this feel good? Does this feel right? What’s next? Do I need to rest?”
The exec previously sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the Academy’s inclusion standards and some of the misconceptions filmmakers who outright criticize the efforts may have, like dictating the projects they have to make.
“We want filmmakers to continue making the films they want to make,” she said. “The other misconceptions that come up often is that this is something where we’re going to see change overnight and that this is the Academy ‘mandating’ something. The Academy is the industry, and the industry is the Academy. So this whole process has been collaborative.”
She continued, “We’ve had incredible conversations with studios and filmmakers from around the world that are continuing to help us refine the process. So the collaboration is real, and it’s consistent. I do believe this industry is supportive of change; it’s just how do we break and challenge some of those systemic issues that keep us from moving forward.”
English joins a string of diversity and inclusion executives who have left their posts or been laid off in the past month, including Warner Bros. Discovery’s Karen Horne, Netflix’s Vernā Myers and Disney’s Latondra Newton. Kendra Carter has been promoted to SVP Impact and Global Talent Development.
June 30, 5:15 p.m. Updated with Kendra Carter’s promotion.
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