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Watch Lupita Nyong’o Welcome ‘Black Panther’ Co-Star Danai Gurira to The Academy

CR: Walker Stalker Con/Heather Millsap

Congratulations are in order for The Walking Dead and Black Panther star Danai Gurira! On Monday, she was one of a whopping 928 stars invited to join The Academy (the group that organizes nominations and votes for the Academy Awards or aka. the Oscars).

Gurira was a part of an impressive list of actors and industry workers who also received their invitations. some of those included in the massive 928 invitee class are veteran actors Mindy Kaling, Christine Baranski, Dave Chappelle, Taye Diggs, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Audra McDonald. In addition to the veterans, a large group of rising stars also received their invites such as Timothée Chalamet, Tiffany Haddish, Daniela Vega, Emilia Clarke, Daisy Ridley, Hannibal Buress, Kumail Nanjiani, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoey Deutch, and Amandla Stenberg.

Gurira’s Black Panther co-star, friend, and fellow Academy member Lupita Nyong’o took some time out to congratulate the new class of invitees. During her video, which was posted to The Academy’s social media pages, Nyong’o make sure to shout out her deserving co-star in particular. These two truly have formed a very special friendship and Nyong’o shout out to Gurira is just too adorable. Check out the video below:

This year, more invitations have been sent out to deserving industry professionals than ever before with a focus on improving diversity among The Academy. According to Entertainment Weekly, 49 percent of the invites sent out this year were issued to female actors and filmmakers. 38 percent of invites were sent to people of color.

According to Variety, thanks to this year’s impress invitee list, the Academy will now be made up of 31 percent women and 16 percent people of color. The overarching goal of The Academy is to double its membership of women and minorities by the year 2020. This initiative comes after The Academy faced a major backlash in 2016 for its lack of representation.

How adorable is Lupita Nyong’o’s shout out to Danai Gurira congratulating her on joining The Academy? Please join us in congratulating Danai on her ner membership!

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A karaoke junkie, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?). Denise currently resides in New York and is honored to be a part of the Fan Fest News team!