“Made by Maddie,” a new Nick Jr. show, was supposed to make it debut in September, but several people on social media made a very serious allegation about the new show — plagiarism.
Many pointed out that the Nickelodeon project resembles Matthew A. Cherry’s 2019 short film, Hair Love. After a huge wave of criticism, Nickelodeon is pulling the show from its Fall lineup.
Nickelodeon teased the animated show with a still picture of the series. The image shows who was supposed to be the main character, Maddie, a young Black girl with a pink headband, alongside her father, who wears dreadlocks and her mom, who has natural hair.
The internet was quick to spot some similarities with the characters of ‘Hair Love,’ a story about a girl named Zuri as her father tries to do her hair for the very first time. Issa Rae provided voiceover work to ‘Hair Love.’ The short film won Best Animated Short at the 2020 Oscars.
People took to social media to also call out Nickelodeon for the alleged plagiarism. “This series idea is so cute and I know it will make a lot of little girls happy…but this is still plagiarism…? Like, why not just hire black creatives like @MatthewACherry…? one twitter user said.
The brains behind the upcoming Nick Jr. show addressed the allegations made. Waheed Alli, the CEO of the production company Silvergate Media, made a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
“Made by Maddie is a preschool show about an 8-year-old girl who uses her fashion sense and design ingenuity to solve problems,” Alli said. “Silvergate Media has been working on the series for the last five years and throughout the production has taken steps to ensure a diverse production team and an appropriate voice cast lending their expertise and talent. 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.”