Washington was a co-governor of the Producers Branch of the TV Academy, when he elected to the top spot by the board of governors in 2016, becoming the first African-American leader in the organization’s 70-year history.
He had succeed Bruce Rosenblum, who was termed out after serving five years in the role.
Variety, which broke the news first Tuesday, quoted Washington as saying he wanted to return his focus to producing and efforts to improve “inclusion and diversity” in the industry. The former VP at Disney was an executive producer on CBS’ The Amazing Race, sharing in the reality series’ seven consecutive Emmy Awards from 2003-2009. His other credits included Phil of the Future, Lay It Down and the docuseries Hurricane Hunters.
During Washington’s TV Academy tenure, he oversaw the re-upping of the Emmy Awards’ eight-year wheel deal with the broadcast networks, through 2026. The pact came ahead of this year’s 70th annual Primetime Emmys on NBC, with terms of the new deal going into effect with the 2019 show on Fox.
This year’s Primetime Emmys, hosted by SNL‘s Colin Jost and Michael Che, drew 10.172 million viewers and got a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 — both all-time lows for the show.