First-of-its-Kind Entertainment Law and Policy Program for HBCU, HSI, and MSI Grads Also Opens 2023 Application

WASHINGTON, DC — The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) this week announced Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures as the first member studios to participate in the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship.

The MPA and EICOP launched the Fellowship in June. The two inaugural Fellows are recent graduates from Howard University School of Law and Spelman College. This year-long, immersive program gives Fellows a unique, multi-faceted opportunity to learn and experience entertainment law and policy, respectively, in rotation between the MPA and MPA member studios.

Billy Davis, a graduate of Howard University School of Law Class of 2021, will join Paramount as an MPA-EICOP Law Fellow. Rhyan Lewis, a graduate of Spelman College Class of 2021, will join Sony as an MPA-EICOP Policy Fellow.

“The Motion Picture Association is pleased to work with Paramount this year to expose our Law Fellow to the various aspects of the entertainment industry’s legal sector,” said Karyn Temple, MPA Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel. “The Law Fellowship at Paramount will yield immeasurable benefits to Billy Davis and, moving forward, the program will help create viable pathways for aspiring young law school graduates from diverse backgrounds to flourish within the entertainment law industry.”

Gail MacKinnon, Senior Executive Vice President for Global Government Affairs at the MPA, said the association is also proud to work with Sony Pictures as their Policy team prepares to welcome Rhyan Lewis. “I’m inspired by how immersed Rhyan has become in our policy efforts over the past several months,” said MacKinnon. “She’s met with studio executives, industry leaders, elected officials, and even attended a film premiere in Hollywood. I’m also looking forward to welcoming our next class of Fellows and creating more opportunities for young, diverse people to enter the field of entertainment policy.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Billy Davis into the Paramount community as the first inaugural MPA-EICOP Law Fellow,” said Allison Gray, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Paramount Pictures. “This Fellowship program enhances Paramount’s ongoing mission to expand the pipeline of opportunity across our vibrant and creative industry, and we look forward to participating in a program that creates access, awareness and an understanding of entertainment law for a new generation of executives.”

“The Government Affairs Team at Sony Pictures Entertainment is delighted to receive Rhyan Lewis as the first-ever MPA-EICOP Policy Fellow. We look forward to working closely with her on both legal and policy issues, to help best position her for the career path on which she embarks. We are also proud to participate in this first-of-its-kind Fellowship program, which reflects Sony’s commitment to expand opportunities for all communities and build an industry that represents us all,” said Keith Weaver, Executive Vice President of Global External Policy & External Affairs at Sony Pictures.

The MPA-EICOP Fellowship provides opportunities for high-performing recent college, university, and law student graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). During the year-long program, each Fellow is paired with an industry mentor, attends networking events hosted by industry partners, participates in industry workshops and conferences, visits member studios and meets with entertainment executives.

Prior to starting the Fellowship, Davis and Lewis participated in a week-long orientation in May with EICOP’s “HBCU In LA” program interns. These preparatory activities and trainings help ensure successful outcomes throughout the entirety of the Fellowship.

“This Fellowship program is proving every day that there is a place for everyone in the entertainment industry, regardless of background,” said Stacy Milner, President and CEO of EICOP. “EICOP is honored to partner with the MPA and its member studios on this unique program, and we’re proud to have kicked off the year-long fellowship with our ‘HBCU in LA’ program. We have every confidence that Billy and Rhyan will continue to thrive in this exciting next step as they head to Paramount and Sony Pictures.”

“It’s an honor to be one of the first MPA-EICOP Fellows,” said Davis. “My time at the MPA has been so rewarding, and I look forward to the next rotation at Paramount for hands-on entertainment law experience.”

Said Lewis: “The program has been incredible. I am learning so much about entertainment policy, and I’ve met so many amazing industry leaders. I am truly thankful for this Fellowship and humbled to be the first Policy Fellow. I can’t wait to start working at Sony to build on my knowledge of policy and advocacy issues as they relate to the film and television industry.”

To learn more about the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship, and apply for the 2023-24 program, visit www.motionpictures.org/fellowship.