DeAndre Arnold, teen suspended for dreadlocks, invited to Oscars by "Hair Love" team
Matthew A. Cherry, the creator of the Oscar-nominated short film "Hair Love," along with former NBA player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union, who are producers of the animated film, have invited Texas high school student DeAndre Arnold to the award ceremony.
Arnold has received a wave of support after his school suspended him and said he wouldn't be allowed to walk at his graduation in the spring unless he cut his dreadlocks.
"We love the way that you carry yourself and we wanted to do something special for you," Wade told Arnold. "You and your mother Sandy are the official guests of the Oscar-nominated team behind 'Hair Love' at the 2020 Academy Awards."
The Oscars are on Sunday, February 9.
Cherry also told Arnold that Dove will "provide full wardrobe and glam for the big night" for both him and his mom.
"We've all been so inspired by your story and this is the very least we can do to thank you for standing up for yourself and for your right to wear your natural hair at school," Cherry told him.
Cherry told "CBS This Morning" that he wants to bring a spotlight to Arnold's story and the CROWN Act, which bans the discrimination of people based on their hair.
"Just hearing his story, it really just represented everything we were trying to do with the short film, 'Hair Love.' We really wanted to just normalize black hair, normalize us," Cherry said.
He added that the CROWN Act, which has passed in California, New York and New Jersey, should be nationwide.
"If this law was in Texas, this situation with DeAndre wouldn't happen," he said.
After Arnold found out he was invited to the Oscars, he said it was "a surreal moment."
"It's hard to take in," he said. "I've got excitement and then it's just like, 'Is this really happening? Am I in a dream?' ... it blows my mind that people that have so much voice, they're on my side and they're with me. I love that. I appreciate that. I really do."
Arnold also praised his mom, Sandy.
"My mom deserves any special treatment she gets. She deserves this. She's been working so hard, on the computer day and night, just to try and help me get my word out," he said. "When you have people like this in your corner, there's no way you can lose. No way."
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