Six years ago, a grandma in Arizona mistakenly invited a stranger to her Thanksgiving dinner. What started as an accidental text message — a humorous exchange that quickly went viral on social media — has turned into an unlikely friendship and a heartwarming holiday tradition.
Now, Netflix is turning the feel-good story into a feature film.
“The Thanksgiving Text” will recount the true tale that began in 2016, when Wanda Dench thought she was texting her grandson to check if he would be coming over for Turkey Day. Apparently, she had the wrong cell phone number. She actually texted Jamal Hinton, a high school senior at the time, who accepted her invitation anyway — and has attended her feast every year since.
This is year 6❤️
Wanda & Jamal still celebrate Thanksgiving together after the mistaken 2016 text.
Today I sat down with them for a personal interview reflecting on the past, joy & loss, and what’s to come for the two of them.@Jamalhinton12 @wandadench https://t.co/rIF0s9a49T pic.twitter.com/BUPlzzqaG5
— Briana Whitney (@BrianaWhitney) November 25, 2021
In their initial exchange, Hinton received a text from an unknown number inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner (at 3 p.m. — but that’s neither here nor there). When he asked who it was, Dench responded, “Your grandma.”
After she sent a selfie, Hinton replied, “You not my grandma,” and jokingly added, “Can I still get a plate tho?”
Dench texted back, “Of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do … Feed everyone.”
And thus, a cherished Thanksgiving ritual was born.
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