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Matthew A. Cherry's Acceptance Speech at Oscars 2020

This Director Shouted Out the Crown Act After His Short About Natural Hair Won an Oscar

On Sunday night, director Matthew A. Cherry took home the Oscar for best animated short for his film, Hair Love, and his acceptance speech was just as important as the short itself. Hair Love tells the story of a young black father learning how to do his daughter's hair, and Cherry made it as an effort to normalize black hair on TV, in film, and given his special guest for the night, in real life.

Cherry invited Texas high school student DeAndre Arnold to accompany him to the ceremony. Arnold recently made headlines all over social media after his story about being suspended from school for wearing dreadlocks went viral. While accepting the award, the director took a brief moment to shout out Arnold and the Crown Act. "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'll help so many stories like DeAndre Arnold's stop happening," he said. The Crown Act is a California law that bans discrimination against black students and employees over their natural, textured hairstyles.

Check out Cherry's full speech in the video above.

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