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Nickelodeon pulls ‘Made by Maddie’ series from schedule amid ‘Hair Love’ similarities controversy

Nickelodeon made the announcement a day after Silvergate Media insisted the two projects are unrelated.

Chicagoan Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love” won an Academy Award for best animated short film in 2020 and is being spun off into a series for HBO Max.
Chicagoan Matthew Cherry’s “Hair Love” won an Academy Award for best animated short film in 2020 and is being spun off into a series for HBO Max.
Sony Pictures Animation

After social media users widely criticized a Nick Jr. animated series that bears an eerie resemblance to an Academy Award-winning short film, Nickelodeon decided to shelve the show for the time being.

On Friday, Nickelodeon announced “Made by Maddie,” which was scheduled to launch Sept. 13, has been pulled from the network’s schedule after social media criticism chiding Silvergate Media (the series’ producer) hit a fever pitch Wednesday when “Hair Love” became a trending topic on Twitter from users speculating about the many similarities between the new show and “Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry’s Oscar-winning short film.

Nickelodeon made the announcement a day after Silvergate Media insisted the two projects were unrelated. As evidence, Silvergate on Thursday provided the Sun-Times with drawings of the characters from 2015 and a “Maddie” script from 2017.

“‘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. 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,” said Nickelodeon in a statement.

“In a 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.”

Cherry, a native of Chicago’s Northwest Side, launched his Kickstarter campaign for “Hair Love” in 2017. An HBO Max series based on “Hair Love” is in the works.