Amid accusations of plagiarism, “Made by Maddie” will no longer air this fall.
Nickelodeon reported Friday that the animated preschool program — whose focal characters look to some extent like those of the Oscar-winning film “Hair Love” — has been pulled from its timetable. The 22-episode series was booked to make a big appearance Sept. 13 on the Nick Jr. channel.
“‘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 an announcement. “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.”
After Nickelodeon shared the series trailer and first-look pictures this previous Tuesday, social media clients rushed to bring up that its central family (and cat) look very like that of “Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry’s short about a Black millennial dad endeavoring to style his young girl’s hair. “Hair Love,” which appeared in 2017 as a viral Kickstarter crusade, is being formed into its own HBO Max animated series.
“Made by Maddie” was made by youngsters’ customizing veteran Paula Rosenthal and is the third Nickelodeon venture from Silvergate.
Not long ago, the studio said that the series utilizes an assorted creation group and voice cast and has been underway for as far back as five years. (Content portions, character depictions and drafted outlines gave to The Times to help these cases dated back just to September 2017 — one month after “Hair Love’s” representation filled Kickstarter crusade was supported at multiple occasions its unique objective).
“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,” Waheed Alli, CEO of Silvergate Media, said in an announcement on Wednesday.
The controversy over likenesses between “Made by Maddie” and “Hair Love” comes as the animation business, similar to quite a bit of Hollywood, deals with discrimination against Black creatives in the wake of the cross country development for Black lives.
In June, various enlivened projects reported that their nonwhite characters would never again be voiced by white entertainers, and an open letter asked that studios direct examinations concerning inner occurrences of bigotry and focus on the employing, preparing and progression of Black staff.
“Animation is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to how Black people are seen and represented because it’s storytelling, and it is storytelling that influences a lot of young people,” Taylor K. Shaw, the founder and chief executive of Black Women Animate, told The Times in July. “It’s an art form that deeply shapes the minds of our youth.”