Dan Fellman, the longtime Warner Bros distribution exec who retired in 2015, has been named governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Executives Branch, where he will serve out the term of Bill Mechanic, who resigned the post last week in news that broke yesterday.
The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. Mechanic and now Fellman’s governor term expires June 30, 2019.
Mechanic’s exit had an incendiary backstory, as well as a letter he wrote to the board upon his resignation April 12. Sources said part of the ire was directed toward the sudden bullishness of the Academy over #MeToo issues and plans to punish for indiscretions, and also in the way that an inappropriate behavior allegation leveled at AMPAS president John Bailey was leaked internally to press. The Academy later found the complaint to be unsubstantiated and its president was cleared.
The delay in the Academy museum and the unwillingness to change the slow pace and structure of the annual Oscars was another gripe, leading to his decision to leave, creating the opening.
Said the Academy today in announcing Fellman: “Per the Academy’s bylaws, should any vacancy occur in the Board of Governors because of the death, resignation or disqualification of a Governor before the end of that Governor’s term, that vacancy will be filled until the end of that Governor’s term by the second-place finisher for that position in the immediately preceding election for that position, or, if he or she is unable or unwilling to serve, by the next successive finisher for that position who is willing and able to serve.”
Fellman returns to the board after serving one term as governor from 2014-2017.