Nickelodeon has decided to remove its animated preschool show Made by Maddie from its television schedule after being accused for having close similarities between its characters and those used in Matthew A Cherry’s (BlackkKlansman, Black-ish) Oscar-winning short Hair Love, as reported by Deadline. The TV series received backlash earlier this week on social media just after Nickelodeon released a teaser trailer announcing the premiere date for September 13 on Nick Jr..
The network announced the decision to cancel the show in a statement reproduced by Deadline:
“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.” the network said. “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. 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 created by Paula Rosenthal (Peter Rabbit, Sunny Day) and produced by Silvergate Media, Made by Maddie follows the titular character Maddie as she uses her imagination to explore New York City and solve problems using her ingenuity designs.
Silvergate Media denied the allegations against its show with as seen in a statement shown via Deadline:
“Silvergate Media has been working on the series for the last five years,” Waheed Alli, CEO of Silvergate Media, they said, “and throughout the production has taken steps to ensure a diverse production team and an appropriate voice cast lending their expertise and talent.”
Hair Love was a 2019 animated short film written and directed by Cherry and co-produced by Karen Rupert Toliver. It follows the story of a man who has to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. It went on to win Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.