Vanessa Morrison began her impressive ascent up the Fox ladder as an intern, reading scripts. Under her 10-year leadership as president of Fox Animation, the studio produced huge box office hits such as Ice Age: Collision Course, The Peanuts Movie and The Book of Life. The Ice Age franchise alone has earned more than $3 billion worldwide. With her recent appointment to head the new Fox Family division, she will oversee both film and animated TV development. Our 2017 EBONY Women Up honoree, Vanessa Morrison is a woman doing extraordinary work in the entertainment industry. We caught up with Vanessa just in time to celebrate Women’s History Month, she gives us insight on the importance of womanhood, and what it takes to be an empowered black female leader in the industry.
Just like success, people define and measure power differently. Some define it by dollar amount, while others measure it on a greater, more personal and internal level. What does Power mean to you?
Morrison: Power to me means the ability and freedom to do what you love. Power also represents the process of growing and evolving while doing something you feel passionately about.
Who are the women who inspire you?
Morrison: I would never have been able to do what I have done without the support and strength of my mother. My mother is the ultimate role model. I remember seeing pictures of her typing out papers for her master’s degree with me as a baby sitting on her lap. Her life, her actions, and her words have always inspired me to be brave and uncompromising in pursuing my dreams. She always keeps it real with her advice.
Long after you retire, what would you like your legacy to be?
Morrison: I hope that in a field with too few African American female role models my existence helps young people see that they can achieve and thrive in whatever arena they love.
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My strategy in business is being a professional who can take any challenge and formulate a plan of action that efficiently and effectively provides a solution. I can build a rapport with anyone and appreciate thought leaders who spark discussions from a simple statement.