Black Panther and The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Academy, best known as the group that organizes and votes on the Academy Awards (“The Oscars”) aka The show that is run by older white gentlemen who “occasionally mix up the envelope.”
This year’s push toward a more inclusive Academy included a majority of female invitees for the first time, including Gurira, Mindy Kaling, and many more (If they ask Zoe Saldana … that would be life right there).
After this year’s class, 31% of the Academy will be made up of women, and 16% will be people of color. That last statistic is particularly notable in that it has doubled in the past three years, according to Variety.
This year, as the Academy moves to diversify, Coogler’s Black Panther remains in the conversation for numerous Academy Awards — an accomplishment which would distinguish it from Marvel’s other big critical and commercial hits, were it to happen.
The Academy is trying to show diversity. They want everyone to know it’s about equality and respect. If Black Panther manages to come away with multiple nominations, it will show the world the change the Academy is willing to make.
The Academy itself — with over 900 invitations sent out this year — is likely to continue this trend of diversity through expansion rather than attrition, resulting in a group that is not only more inclusive but overall larger, with Variety speculating that it will soon be roughly double its size from just a decade ago.
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