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Producers group names its first female president of color

The Producers Guild of America has elected its first woman of color to be president of the organization that represents Hollywood producers.

The PGA, whose history dates back to 1950, said Stephanie Allain, a former executive at 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, was elected president alongside former Paramount Pictures President Donald De Line at the annual membership meeting Tuesday, according to a statement.

The two producers ran unopposed to succeed presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, who were elected in 2018. The nonprofit, which has more than 8,000 members, lobbies for the interests of producers. The new leaders are advocating for a greater diversity in the membership and better deals and benefits for producers.

The change in leadership comes after a period of turmoil for producers, who saw their incomes take a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and as streaming platforms have moved away from traditional back-end profit deals. Some producers have even been pushing to organize a labor union.

“We will continue to educate the industry on the role of the producer, support producers’ efforts for fair and commensurate compensation and benefits, welcome and encourage a more diverse membership, and endeavor to attain broader healthcare coverage while educating members on the current benefits and opportunities available to them,” Allain and De Line said in a joint statement.

When writer and producer Allain, who is Black, was at Columbia, she supervised John Singleton’s acclaimed Oscar-nominated film “Boyz N The Hood.” Her producing credits include “Beyond the Lights,” Dear White People,” and “Burning Sands.”

As director of the LA Film Festival from 2011 to 2016, she led efforts to create a metric to track the percentage of films authored by women and people of color.

A former Walt Disney executive, De Line is a member of the producers branch executive committee at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the executive board of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television. His credits include “Ready Player One” and “I Love You, Man.”

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