‘Made By Maddie’ Pulled by Nickelodeon Over ‘Hair Love’ Controversy
This week, Nick Jr. announced their new show, Made by Maddie, which centered around a young Black girl and her family, but the show has now been canceled over issues of plagiarism.
Nick Jr.’s new show, Made by Maddie followed 8-year-old fashion designer Maddie and her friends and family. The show featured a mostly Black cast with Maddie’s parents both having natural Black hairstyles and was set to air September 13.
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Made by Maddie was a big step toward Black representation and inclusion for the network, something that most modern children’s animated shows and movies lack despite how important it is.
My son will be watching this. He needs to see characters on tv who look like him
— Sagittearyoassup (@CockyCandy) September 1, 2020
Many parents were excited to show the program to their children so they could see characters on the screen that reflected them.
Even though Made by Maddie was progressive in including diversity, many weren’t happy with the Nick Jr. show, and accused the creators of plagiarism as they spotted uncanny similarities between Made by Maddie and Matthew A. Cherry’s Academy Award-winning Hair Love, a Black animated short film that was released last year.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 2, 2020
Hair Love features a young Black girl named Zuri and centers around her father learning how to do her favorite hairstyles when her mother isn’t around. Many thought Maddie and Zuri, as well as their parents, were eerily similar along with both girls having a gray cat.
Even the cat?! pic.twitter.com/iW5SEbfZ7p
— (@gabbyjaye) September 1, 2020
After receiving a lot of backlash, Waheed Ali, the CEO of Made by Maddie‘s production company Silvergate Media, released a statement stating that they did not copy Hair Love, and that Made by Maddie has been in the works for 5 years, which is before advertisement began for Hair Love.
Even after Ali’s statement was released, many still weren’t buying it and called for something to be done about the show. It looks like their voices were heard because it was announced earlier that Made by Maddie has now been pulled, but Silvergate Media stands by their previous statement denying any plagiarism.