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Will Packer Says Producing The Oscars Was A 'Challenge' He Needed To Overcome

Shayla Cowan, who is co-producing the Oscars with Will, also tells BET.com how this opportunity will show Black people that anything is possible.

Get ready for a jam-packed Oscars this Sunday as Will Packer and Shayla Cowan have produced a show that will definitely be a topic of conversation Monday morning.

The duo will make history as the first African American partners to produce the prestigious award ceremony, which Cowan tells BET.com this moment is setting the tone for folks who look like them that want to be in the same position as she and Packer.

“When the call came in and Will asked for me to do it with him, I was blown away,” she said.

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“When we realized we would be the first African American producers to produce the show together, I was honored. It’s showing folks that we can really do anything and it’s setting the tone for everyone to come behind us. It’ll be beautiful to see folks who look like us, see us in this position, and know that it’s possible.”

While the blockbuster producer is honored to be in this position, it wasn’t something top of mind for him to accomplish, he tells BET.com.

“I grew up loving shows like the Oscars but I never had the dream to say I want to produce the Oscars,” he explained.

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“When I was first approached, I said thanks but no thanks. It’s a thankless job, a tremendous amount of scrutiny, and everyone has an opinion on the show. Ultimately, the thing that makes you uncomfortable, hit it head-on. Someone watching this has a challenge in their life, hit it head-on. It wasn’t a dream of mine — still isn’t a dream of mine, but it was an honor and I can do it because I have Shayla on my side.”

Watch the full interview below and make sure you tune in to the Oscars this Sunday at 8PM ET on ABC.


Ty Cole is a New York-based entertainment reporter and writer for BET.com who covers pop culture, music, and lifestyle. Follow his latest musings on Twitter @IamTyCole.

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