Shortly after DeAndre Arnold was told that he wouldn’t be able to walk at his high school’s graduation unless he cut his locs, his story gained national attention. Soon enough, many on social media were sharing their support for the teen, and he was even invited on Ellen DeGeneres’s show, where he was gifted a college scholarship from DeGeneres and Alicia Keys.
Now, DeAndre has been invited to attend the upcoming Academy Awards as the guest of actor and producer Gabrielle Union. In a video posted to Twitter by Matthew A. Cherry, who wrote, produced, and directed the Oscar-nominated animated short film Hair Love, Union can be seen saying how impacted she was by DeAndre’s experiences. “When we heard about your story, and you just wanting to wear your hair the way you want, at school, and all this scrutiny that you faced and how unwavering you have been in standing up for yourself, we knew that we had to get involved,” Union, who served as one of the producers on Hair Love, says.
Union’s husband, Dwyane Wade, who also worked on Hair Love, appears in the video as well, noting that they are both “big fans” of DeAndre’s. “We wanted to do something special for you,” he adds. “You and your mother, Sandy, are the official guests of the Oscar-nominated team behind Hair Love at the 2020 Academy Awards.”
As noted by USA Today, the uplifting video first aired on CBS This Morning on Friday, January 31. Cherry also added on Twitter that the Hair Love team will be “flying DeAndre & his family out to LA for the Oscars and taking care of their lodging/car service,” noting that DeAndre and his mother will receive complimentary outfits, “glam,” and tickets to the big event.
On social media, fans were impressed and moved by the generosity of Union and the team behind Hair Love. “Much respect. I'm so in love with this entire process. Y'all are the best!” one person wrote, while another tweeted: “This is fantastic. Thank you to you and everyone for supporting DeAndre and his family. Y'all rock.”
Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: DeAndre Arnold, the Texas Student Who Refused to Cut His Locs to Walk at Graduation, Just Got a $20,000 Scholarship
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue