UPDATED 2/9, 7:10 p.m. ET: DeAndre Arnold, the Texas high school student that was suspended over his hair, has made it to the Oscars after being invited by Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Matthew A. Cherry, and the team behind Hair Love.
Best Animated Short nominee & former athlete @MatthewACherry is carrying on Kobe Bryant's legacy at the #Oscars tonight. More on his incredible journey to the Academy Awards: https://t.co/Ci0YDq3ZO6 #etalkRedCarpet pic.twitter.com/AzfvHuyJ4M— etalk (@etalkCTV) February 9, 2020
A couple months ago DeAndre Arnold's story went viral after he was told to cut his dreadlocks or face suspension— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2020
Tonight @DwyaneWade and @itsgabrielleu are bringing him to the Oscars ✊ pic.twitter.com/2cJ78Hg7TB
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Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, and filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry have invited Texas high school student DeAndre Arnold to the award ceremony. Cherry is the creator of the Oscar-nominated short film Hair Love, of which Wade and Union are producers.
Arnold received nationwide support after his school suspended him and said he wouldn’t be allowed to walk at graduation in the spring unless he cut off his dreadlocks, CBS News reports.
"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, Feb. 9.
Cherry told Arnold that Dove will "provide full wardrobe and glam for the big night" for him and his mom that night. "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 the teen.
Cherry told CBS This Morning that he wants to highlight Arnold’s story and the CROWN Act, which prohibits 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 also said that the CROWN Act, which has passed in California, New York, and New Jersey, should be legalized nationwide. "If this law was in Texas, this situation with DeAndre wouldn't happen," he said.
Arnold said being invited to the Oscars 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 took a moment to celebrate his mother, 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."