Janet Yangthe veteran Hollywood producer who has been described as ‘the godmother of Asian Americans in the industry’ – and is said to be a candidate for success david rubin as chair of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she served as governor general for the past three years and vice president last year, in August – was celebrated on Tuesday evening at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, where a pillar was dedicated and a dinner was held in his honor.
Si Yang – the daughter of Chinese immigrants who made a name for herself bridging the Chinese and Hollywood film industries before serving as a producer on films like Joy of Luck club and The People vs. Larry Flynt — wasn’t planning to run for president of the Academy’s Board of Trustees before Tuesday’s meeting, she’d be crazy not to do so after, given how many powerful industry players came out to celebrate her.
The dedication of a pillar inside the Renzo Piano-designed museum – alongside other pillars dedicated to Barbra Streisand, tom hank and Rita Wilson, Bob Iger and willow bay, Lauren Blum and Jason Blum, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath, Jeff Skol and miky lee – was moderated by the newly hired Academy Museum Director / Academy CEO Bill Kramerand, like the dinner that followed, was made possible by a donation from Julia S. Gouwretired chairman and chief operating officer of East-West Bank, who now sits on the board of directors of the Academy Museum.
The dinner, which included a buffet of Chinese dishes, was attended by many Academy governors and other notables ranging from the legendary 93-year-old actor James Hong at Katherine Hothe singer whose cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow” was featured in boobies rich asian. Speakers included Kramer; Rubin (on behalf of himself and the outgoing CEO of the Academy Dawn Hudson, who was unable to attend after contracting COVID); CEO and co-founder of GoldHouse Bing Chen; California State Treasurer Fiona Ma; Jim Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson; and the actor Daniel Dae Kimwho said of Yang, “It’s normal that she gets a pillar, because she has been for so many people.”
Yang, a longtime Academy member who became more involved in promoting the organization’s diversity following a 2016 Oscars skit in which Chris Rock used Asian children as the butt of a joke (which Rubin described Tuesday as “an inappropriate and insensitive skit”), began his speech, “I am truly touched beyond my imagination.” She then joked with the audience, which was mostly made up of people of Asian descent: “I agreed to this because I thought, ‘Well, number one, this is an opportunity for non-Asians to find out what it’s like to be a minority’ – welcome to our community, we’re a wild bunch! She continued: ‘It was also a time to celebrate with so many people I loved in my life. life, with whom I worked, who raised me, who inspired me, really. This pillar is only a pretext. And, after narrating a slideshow of key moments in her life and career, she dedicated her pillar to Hudson and Rubin.
A quick note: on my way to the Accademia Museum for the festivities, I came across the legendary songwriter Diane Warren, who learned earlier today that she had been asked by the Academy’s Board of Trustees to receive an honorary Oscar at its Governors Awards in November. The bridesmaid to the 13 Best Original Songs at the Oscars was ecstatic, greeting me with her signature crude humor, “I’m not a fucking loser anymore!”
Inside the rally, I was able to gather some insight into how the four winners of this year’s Governors Awards – Warren, Michael J. Fox, Eujan Palcy and Peter Weir — were chosen by the board. I was told that the governor of the animated shorts/features branch Bonnie Arnold suggested Fox for the Hersholt – the Back to the future star who has never even been nominated for a competitive Oscar – and the idea was met with overwhelming approval. Governor of the Branch of Directors Ava DuVernay championed Palcy. And the three music branch governors led what was ultimately a unanimous push for Warren to finally be recognized; they clearly acted together, as his nomination was the only one accompanied by a brief video presentation to help argue the case. It worked!