After Deandre Arnold, a senior attending Barbers Hill High School in Southeast Texas, was suspended from school and told he wouldn’t graduate due to his dreadlocks, Gabrielle Union (a producer on the Oscar nominated animated short film “Hair Love”) invited Deandre Arnold and his family to join her at the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9.
According to Arnold’s family, the school claimed the teen’s hair violated the school district’s dress code.
“When we heard the amazing story of a young black father with long beautiful locs just trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair, we knew that we had to support any way we could, we had to get involved any way we could — the same way as when we heard about your story and you just wanting to wear your hair the way you want at school,” Union said in a video, which aired Friday on “CBS this Morning.”
Her husband Dwyane Wade also sent a message saying, “We love the way that you carry yourself and we wanted to do something special for you.”
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) January 31, 2020
Director Matthew A. Cherry closed out the video saying Arnold and his mother are set to receive an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles as well as “the red carpet treatment,” sponsored by the Dove company. “Deandre, you’re such a good kid. 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,” the “Hair Love” helmer said.
As Variety previously reported, Union was booted from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” after making complaints of a toxic work environment. The actress was also said to have received multiple complaints about her various hair styles being “too black” for the AGT audience. The firing prompted an internal investigation into the popular competition series. The “America’s Got Talent” investigation should be closed by the end of January according to NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Teledgy.