Nickelodeon has removed its animated preschool show Made by Maddie from its schedule in response to a controversy about similarities between its characters and those in Matthew A. Cherry’s Oscar-winning short Hair Love.
The network announced the decision Friday in a statement obtained 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.”
Made By Maddie had been scheduled to premiere September 13 on Nick Jr.
Comparisons to the characters in Hair Love were made on social media after Nickelodeon released a teaser for the series earlier this week. In both series, the fathers have shoulder-length hair, the mothers have natural curls, and the little girls wear pink bows or headbands.
Created by Paula Rosenthal and produced by Silvergate Media (Sunny Day, Peter Rabbit), the series follows 8-year-old Maddie in New York City, as she uses her imagination and design ingenuity to turn every problem into a positive with the perfect fashion fix.
Sony Pictures Animation’s Hair Love revolves around an African American father learning how to do his daughter’s hair while his wife (voiced by Issa Rae) is hospitalized with cancer.
Made By Maddie producer Silvergate Media has denied any connection to Hair Love.
“Silvergate Media has been working on the series for the last five years,” Waheed Alli, CEO of Silvergate Media, said in a statement to media outlets, “and throughout the production has taken steps to ensure a diverse production team and an appropriate voice cast lending their expertise and talent.”