Nickelodeon has removed the Made by Maddie series from its schedule following comparisons made on social channels by fans of the Hair Love short by Matthew A. Cherry. Made by Maddie was scheduled to premiere on Nick Jr. Sunday, Sept. 13.
Created by Paula Rosenthal and produced by Silvergate Media (Sunny Day, Peter Rabbit, The Octonauts, Hilda), the Made by Maddie series follows eight-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.
From Sony Pictures Animation, Hair Love tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. The short film won Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. A Young Love series, based on the characters in the short, is also in the works.
The comparisons began when Nickelodeon released the below trailer for Made by Maddie.
“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,” said Nickelodeon in a statement.
“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 network added: “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.”
Silvergate Media says that the Made by Maddie series is its own. “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,” said Waheed Alli, CEO of Silvergate Media.
Alli added: “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.”
It’s unclear whether Nickelodeon will put the Made by Maddie series back on its schedule. It centers on Maddie (Alyssa Cheatham), a quick-thinking little girl with a big personality and a huge heart, who has a passion for fashion. Maddie finds design inspiration around every corner and her big ideas couldn’t become a reality without the love and support of her aspirational and talented fashion designer mom, Dee (Patina Miller), and her super cool and upbeat musician dad, Rashad (James Monroe Iglehart).
She also has the assistance of friends and neighbors, including kind, animal-loving best friend, Jada (Sophia Torres), and the twins—rule-following Harper (Amanda Dressel) and fearless Hudson (Ames McNamara)—who are always up for adventure.
Maddie’s creative thinking and dazzling designs are a reflection of the bustling, colorful city of New York and its residents. Maddie confidently embraces her own unique style, celebrates individuality, treats everyone with kindness, and encourages others to take risks and be themselves.
Guest voices the first season include Karamo Brown (Queer Eye); Rhyon Nicole Brown (Empire); Danny Burstein (Broadway’s Moulin Rouge!); David Burtka (Professional Chef); Monét X Change (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Joey Fatone (*NSYNC); and Griffin Robert Faulkner (Raising Dion).
Also appearing are Nina Garcia (Project Runway); Joy Lynn Jacobs (The Blacklist); Claudia Morcate-Martin (Seneca); Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men); Christine Pedi (Steven Universe); Christiani Pitts (Broadway’s King Kong); Al Roker (TODAY); D’Angelo Russell (Minnesota Timberwolves); Horatio Sanz (Black Monday); and Nico Tortorella (Younger).