This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

'Hair Love' Director Matthew A. Cherry Calls For Normalising Black Hair In Oscars Speech

The filmmaker gave a shoutout to DeAndre Arnold, a high school senior who notably refused to cut his locs in order to walk at his upcoming graduation.

“Hair Love” director and writer Matthew A. Cherry addressed the importance of normalising Black hair during his acceptance speech on stage at the 92nd Academy Awards.

The short animated film, which tells the story of a Black father who wears his hair in locs and learns to do his daughter’s hair for the first time, won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film on Sunday.

Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, a producer of “Hair Love,” both addressed the importance of representation in cartoons as they accepted the award on stage.

Toliver noted that the “Hair Love” filmmakers are firm believers that “representation matters deeply,” and especially in cartoons, which are often “when we first see our movies.”

Cherry called for the Crown Act, a bill first passed in California last year to protect Black people from hair discrimination, to be enacted in all 50 states.

He noted its importance to people like DeAndre Arnold, a Black teenager from Mont Belvieu, Texas, who made headlines last month after he and his family publicly revealed that he wouldn’t be allowed to walk at his upcoming graduation unless he cut his locs.

Cherry, Toliver and other team members behind “Hair Love,” including Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, surprised Arnold with an invitation to attend the Oscars as a special guest of the film.

The high school senior hit the Oscars red carpet with his mother, Sandy Arnold on Sunday.

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact