Last week, an Instagram video of 4-year-old Ariyonna Cotton went viral as she declared “I’m so ugly” while getting her hair done by Shabria Redmond, known as rapper Lil Wave Daddy.
Redmond would encourage Ariyonna in a video that quickly turned out to be a powerful moment of #BlackGirlMagic.
On Friday’s episode of The Tamron Hall Show, Redmond, Ariyonna and her mother, Ashante Cotton, were special guests and received the surprise of a lifetime by actress Angela Bassett.
Before Bassett’s big surprise, Ariyonna told Tamron Hall that after the video of her crying went viral, she now looks in the mirror every day and says, “Black and beautiful.”
Once Bassett arrived on set, she delivered a message of appreciation to both women.
“Thank you for the inspiration that – you know, you’re helping a little one, but you’re giving such inspiration and knowledge and grace to the world,” Bassett shared.
“People say all kinds of things – sometimes people don’t know what to say and then they say the wrong thing. But the way that you’re speaking into her life, into her spirit with things – not only her outward beauty but the beauty that is her character.”
Bassett was not the only person to speak kind words to Ariyonna. Michelle Obama posted a message on her Instagram page as she shared the video.
“Ariyonna, you are gorgeous,” she wrote. “In a world that sometimes tries to say otherwise, I want to tell you — and every other beautiful, intelligent, brave black girl — just how precious you are.”
The episode featuring the ladies of the video and Bassett will be one of the last new editions of the Tamron Hall Show for the near future. Deadline reports production of the show has halted due to coronavirus.
“The Tamron Hall show has determined it is in the best interest of the staff and crew to suspend production on the show beginning Monday, March 16,” Walt Disney Television said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and hope to be back on the air with new shows as soon as possible.”
Additional shows that have been suspended include The Wendy Williams Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.