Film & Media Studies professor takes Oscar for co-writing ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in Campus News and News

Kevin Willmott (image courtesy of KU)

After months of Oscar buzz, Kevin Willmott’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” was lauded with an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay Feb. 24.

Willmott, a University of Kansas film & media studies professor, co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film about Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Stallworth wrote a 2014 memoir about how he infiltrated a cell of the virulently white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Willmott collaborated on the screenplay with Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz. The film has been gathering accolades, from the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival to a BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay.

Read more on Kevin Willmott’s accomplishment at today.ku.edu.

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Writer finds dream gig in the funny business

Posted on Mar 4, 2018 in Campus News and News

The jokes you hear from host Jimmy Kimmel during tonight’s 90th Academy Awards telecast will be written in part by a Jayhawk— Kimmel’s wife, Molly McNearney.

McNearney, j’00, has served as co-head writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” since 2007. She began her career on the show as assistant to the executive producer in 2003. Last year, she served as co-head writer for the Oscars telecast—Kimmel’s first year as host—and will reprise her role for this year’s event.

A St. Louis native, McNearney earned a degree in advertising from the KU School of Journalism. She and Kimmel married in 2013.

Read more about McNearney’s thoughts on writing for the Oscars and her family’s busy year in her recent interview with Vanity Fair.

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McNearney was profiled in issue No. 6, 2009, of Kansas Alumni magazine, which is embedded below.

If the embedded document isn’t available above, click here to read the profile on Issuu.

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