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The President Of Fox Animation Studios Is A Black Woman (Started Out As An Intern 18 Years Ago)

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 18, 2012 8:27 PM
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As I mentioned in an entry last week announcing that the new Head Of Drama Programming at NBC is a black woman (specifically Pearlena Igbokwe), a project I'm currently working on is putting together a chart of all the black executives working within the Hollywood studio system, along with their positions and details as to what their jobs entail; in that same entry, I noted that I would need some help, and, thankfully, several folks emailed me with names, or linked me up with people in-the-know, who could actually assist me in putting together this chart.

And I've been doing my own digging as well.

As a result of all that, I learned today that the President of Fox Animation Studios (the animation division of 20th Century Foxis an African American woman, and her name is Vanessa Morrison (photo above).

Further digging revealed that Ms Morrison, who's just 42 years young, has been in the business for just 15 rather short years, and all of them with 20th Century Fox. Incredibly, she started out as an intern, and officially became president of Fox Animation Studios in 2007. 

So, doing the math, she went from an internship to president of a major division of the studio, within about 10 short years! That's pretty damn impressive, isn't it?

She's held that title since 2007, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, just signed a new multi-year deal with Fox, on the heels of the successful worldwide opening of Ice Age: Continental Drift, one of the projects she oversaw.

As president of Fox Animation Studios, Vanessa Morrison oversees development, production and marketing of family-friendly movies made. Films produced under her tenure include the global blockbuster Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rio, and a few others.

Next up for Morrison and Fox Animation is the 3-D action-adventure animated film, Epic, directed by Chris Wedge, with a voice cast includes Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, and others.

And finally, worth noting, before she became president of Fox Animation Studios, she as actually executive vice president for the parent studio company 20th Century Fox, and also previously served as senior vice president of production and vice president of production, during which she shepherded live-action films like Cheaper by the Dozen, Dr. Dolittle 2 and Fat Albert.

Now you know... 

Expect more highlights like this as I continue to discover while working on my chart.

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  • Rodney | July 19, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    Zola Mashariki, Senior VP, Production @ Fox Searchlight

  • Justsaying | July 19, 2012 6:10 PMReply

    I think this is an excellent idea. Let us all know who is who! Looking forward to more for this chart.

  • toexplain | July 19, 2012 2:55 PMReply

    FYI - Her EVP Karen Rupert Tolliver is also Black

  • other song | July 19, 2012 1:16 PMReply

    I'm proud of my sistas doing big things. gotta ask though: where the brothas at?

  • Ghost | July 23, 2012 6:40 PM

    While it would be nice to own your own production company and do your own stuff-first people have to support your product. We have folks that are doing some of the stuff that Black People talk about-however we can't get the promotion and support for it unless it's like a certain director's product of feature black men doing women wrong. Until we as a people learn to accept what variety is-I wouldn't leave that gig either. Besides there is no rule to say I couldn't help fund a movie for an indy project.

  • Mark | July 23, 2012 6:19 PM

    "Black People,"

    'This is the mentality of women.' Really? Really? Really? First: how big of you slap a disparaging mark on 'black women.' Second: Do you honestly want to say that there aren't many black men who don't aspire to be CEOs of major companies?

    I never understand why people continue to use such offensive, narrow-minded generalizations against a women.

  • Nate Dogg | July 19, 2012 4:06 PM

    "I don't like to dream about getting paid.."

  • Black Peolple | July 19, 2012 2:57 PM

    Before black woman start attacking, hear me out. Often times I wondered should I stay at movie company even though I could care less about the movies they put out, move up the latter and become somewhat of the top %5 of America? Or should I just leave and at the very least try my own thing? I want to see films, 3-D films, and animation movies with people that look like me. To be president and still make white movies. Sure I'll be rich, but I'll be looking for something to watch.

  • Black People | July 19, 2012 2:48 PM

    Running their own production companies. Producing their own work. So she's the president. And. Anybody of any race can be the president and the same white movies, with white actors will be produced and made. This is really a straw man argument. This is the mentality of women. Move up in a corporation regardless if they like it or go out and do your own thing. Example; Are people with ambition really looking to become CEO of Campbell's Soup? Sure you make millions, but it still a soup factory business. Sure theirs a black woman who's president, but the same white films get made. It doesn't really matter who's in that position, the same films will be made dictated by the company. Not the individual.

  • Priss | July 19, 2012 1:18 PM

    "gotta ask" that? Really?

  • tepnlex | July 19, 2012 1:16 PMReply

    well played Tambay. Keep them coming.

  • JulieB | July 19, 2012 11:31 AMReply

    I had no idea! It's so good to see black women running things. Plus I've loved all the films listed in the article.

  • JMac | July 18, 2012 10:10 PMReply

    Another gem

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