It wasn’t long ago that Hair Love won an Oscar, and like many things that become great, duplicates tend to pop up. This is the case with Nickelodeon’s new show “Made By Maddie,” which was recently pulled from the schedule due to plagiarism controversy. And trust me, the similarities are definitely there.
Although it’s said that “imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” Matthew A. Cherry, the creator of Hair Love, doesn’t seem to think so. Despite not making an official statement, he took to Twitter to hint his thoughts at the project, retweeting:
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 2, 2020
Others have also jumped to the defense of Hair Love, openly criticizing Silvergate Media, Nickelodeon, and the shows creator.
The Director of Made By Maddie was fully aware of Hair Love's existence. Him & I were at the same animation workshop led by @MatthewACherry talmbout the making of the movie (which included SHOWING designs). This is art theft &
Disregard for Black creators & their art PERIOD. https://t.co/bWsylLOzWy
— Pearl Low | 盧寶珠 (@Fumi_chun) September 4, 2020
@Nickjr We don't support plagiarism. YOU DIDN'T DREAM THIS OR DRAW IT. #BlackCreatorsMatter You thought you were going to steal from #MatthewCherry right in our faces & we weren't going to say anything??!#NickJr there's nothing new abt stealing Black labor to turn a profit. pic.twitter.com/QcW7BGEygu
— Caffeinated Living (@WokeLiving) September 1, 2020
“They see a Black creator create something and when it’s trending or popular, they try to take it. Then when we call them out it’s ‘we were just inspired and we appreciate their creativity,’” says Trinity Wiley, a junior at Thornwood High School. She first saw the promotion for “Made by Maddie” as a commercial on Nick Jr.
While the show seems like fashion dipped “Doc Mcstuffins” and doesn’t follow the short films hair themes, there is no denying that the main character, Maddie, and her family, bear a striking resemblance to Cherry’s creation.
Under the pressure of creators and fans alike, Nickelodeon quickly pulled the show, which was supposed to air September 13th. They also released a statement as to why they pulled the show. “In response, and out of respect to all voices in the conversation, we are removing the show from our schedule as we garner further insight into the creative journey of the show. We are grateful to Silvergate Media for all of their work. And we hold Matthew A. Cherry and the wonderful and inspiring ‘Hair Love’ in the highest regard.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cherry has an HBO Max series based off Hair Love in the making.
By Patience Hurston
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