Turner Classic Movies hires its first African American host

Jacqueline Stewart

FILE – This April 11, 2019 file photo shows Jacqueline Stewart at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival – Opening Night Gala for “When Harry Met Sally” in Los Angeles. Stewart will host Turner Classic Movies silent movie program “Silent Sunday Nights.” (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Turner Classic Movies has hired its first African American host, naming film academic Jacqueline Stewart host of its silent movie program “Silent Sunday Nights.”

Stewart is a cinema and media studies professor at the University of Chicago who has specialized in the racial politics of film preservation. She will make her TCM debut on Sunday.

For many years, Robert Osborne was the sole host on TCM. Ben Mankiewicz joined in 2003 and, until Osborne’s death in 2017, they were the two faces of the network. Last year, Alicia Malone became the first female host at the classic movie channel.

Stewart says she hopes her hiring will bring in a greater diversity of viewers.

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