LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Texas high school student DeAndre Arnold, who was suspended from school and told he couldn’t walk at his graduation unless he cut his dreadlocks, made his Hollywood debut Sunday night.

Arnold attended this year’s Academy Awards as a guest to some of the creators of the animated film, “Hair Love.”

The short film follows a man, who also has dreadlocks, learning how to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

It won the Oscar for Animated Short and has been praised for its celebration of black hair.

US director Matthew A. Cherry (L), US producer Karen Rupert Toliver (R) and Deandre Arnold (3rd L), the Texas teen who was told his dreadlocks violated school dress code, arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Arnold appeared on the red carpet alongside Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, the film’s director and producer, respectively.

He was invited to attend the ceremony after Cherry, former NBA player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union — who are producers of “Hair Love” — heard his story.

In his Oscars acceptance speech, Cherry mentioned the CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.”

“‘Hair Love’ was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation,” Cherry said. “There’s a very important issue that’s out there, the CROWN Act, and if we can help to get this passed in all 50 states, it will help stories like DeAndre Arnold’s, who is our special guest tonight, stop happening.”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – February 9, 2020: Director Matthew A. Cherry and producer Karen Rupert Toliver, winners of the Animated Short Film award for “Hair Love,” pose in the press room during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The CROWN Act aims to protect against discrimination based on hair texture and protective styles, according to its website. It is already law in California, New York and New Jersey.

For updates on Oscar nominees/winners of the 92nd Academy Awards, check out this post.

Comments (2)
  1. mandyfard says:

    That’s how they change paradigm. That’s how it’s done. It should have been done a long time ago, acutally. Good for him.

  2. Saltine American says:

    what a freaking joke

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