Deandre Arnold, a senior at a Texas high school, who was discriminated against and told he could not walk in his graduation if he did not cut his dreadlocks has been invited to attend the Oscars with the short film Hair Love, which is about an African-American father styling his daughter’s hair for the first time.
In a tweet, Hair Love‘s creator Matthew A. Cherry “Since Deandre Arnold’s school didn’t want to let him walk at his graduation because of his hair, we figured that he should walk with us in the red carpet at the #Oscars as our special guest. Thank you @itsgabrielleu @DwyaneWade & @Dove for their help.”
According to ABC, Cherry said Union and Wade were making plans to fly Arnold and his family to Los Angeles for the Feb. 9th show and to cover the family’s lodging. They worked with personal-care brand Dove, Cherry said, who would cover wardrobe and other expenses for Arnold and his mother, Sandy, on Oscar Sunday.
“Deandre already changed schools, but I hope that we are able to help give him the platform that he & his story deserves. We’re so proud & cannot wait to meet him,” Cherry said.
Arnold has had dreadlocks for years and says that it is a part of his family’s culture.
In a statement, Barbers Hill Independent School District official say it isn’t racially motivated its policy.
“There is no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair,” the district’s superintendent, Greg Poole, said. “Our policy limits the length. It’s been that way for 30 years.”
Deandre’s mother, Sandy Arnold says that Deandre has been growing his dreads for years and there has never been a problem until after winter break
Deandre has been receiving an outpour of support from the community. Houston Texans Wide Receiver Deandre Hopkins tweeted his support saying, “Never cut your locks Deandre Arnold.”