Nickelodeon is pulling “Made by Maddie” from its schedule following criticism over the preschool show’s similarities to Matthew Cherry’s Academy Award-winning short film, “Hair Love.”
“‘Made by Maddie’ is a show we acquired several years ago from Silvergate Media, a renowned production company we have previously worked with on other series,” Nickelodeon said in a statement. “Since announcing the show’s premiere date this week, we have been listening closely to the commentary, criticism and concern coming from both viewers and members of the creative community.”
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Originally scheduled to premiere on Sept. 13, “Made By Maddie” centers on “a quick-thinking little girl with a big personality and a huge heart, who has a passion for fashion,” alongside her parents and friends. The series drew the attention of Twitter users earlier this week after fans of Cherry’s Oscar-winning short began to notice similarities between the two projects, including the physical appearance of the two animated families and the presence of a gray cat.
In a statement earlier this week, “Made By Maddie” producers Silvergate Media denied copying Cherry’s work. Silvergate Media CEO Waheed Alli said the project was conceived five years ago, before Cherry launched his 2017 Kickstarter campaign for “Hair Love,” which raised $300,000.
“As creators ourselves, we have the utmost respect and admiration for Matthew A. Cherry and ‘Hair Love,’ and our hope is that when people watch our show, they will see it is its own story with its own adventures,” Ali said.
“Hair Love,” created and directed by Cherry, centers on seven-year-old Zuri and her father Stephen as they attempt to style the little girl’s hair by following an instructional video narrated by her mother (voiced by Issa Rae).
Prior to Silvergate’s statement this week, Cherry himself noted the conversation surrounding the two projects on Twitter, sharing one of the tweets with two questioning emojis. A representative for Cherry did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment following Nickelodeon’s decision to pull “Made By Maddie” from its schedule.