Nickelodeon Pulls “Made by Maddie” After Comparisons to Oscar-Winning Short “Hair Love”
- After Nick Jr. released the trailer for their upcoming series “Made by Maddie,” many pointed out how visually similar it was to “Hair Love,” an animated short that won an Oscar earlier this year.
- Silvergate Media, the production company behind the series, said that the show had been five years in the making and denied accusations of plagiarism. Still, many tweeted comparisons, some of which were retweeted by Matthew A. Cherry, the director of “Hair Love.”
- As criticisms continued to pour in, Nickelodeon announced Friday that it would be pulling “Made by Maddie,” which was scheduled to debut on September 13.
- “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 company said in a statement.
Nickelodeon Pulls “Made by Maddie”
Nick Jr. announced on Friday that it has pulled its animated series “Made by Maddie” after many thought the show bore visual similarities to the Academy Award-winning animated short “Hair Love.”
While Silvergate Media, the production company behind “Made by Maddie” has denied that the show was inspired by or stole from Matthew A. Cherry’s “Hair Love,” Nickelodeon still opted to scrap the show, which was set to debut on September 13. It follows Maddie, a young girl living in New York with a keen eye for fashion.
After Nick Jr. released the trailer and images of the series, Twitter users quickly compared it to “Hair Love,” which follows a father learning how to do his young daughter’s hair as a video narrated by her mother, voiced by Issa Rae, explains the steps.
Excuse me?!?! pic.twitter.com/iqko9fsFZI— 𝒢𝒶𝒷𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓁𝓁𝑒 𝒲𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒾𝒶𝓂𝓈 (@gabbyjaye) September 1, 2020
Both feature a Black family with a young daughter at the center of the story. In both, the daughters’ hair is tied with a pink bow, the fathers both have locs similar in length, the mothers both have natural hair, and both families have a grey and white cat.
In a statement to Deadline, Nickelodeon claimed they acquired “Made by Maddie” several years ago after previously working with Silvergate Media. The company said it will be looking into the “creative journey” of the show.
“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,” the studio added. “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.”
“Hair Love” became a trending topic on Wednesday after Cherry retweeted a post highlighting the visual parallels. In other replies, he acknowledged how specifically similar the cats are, noting that “Made by Maddie” could have had any other pet, like a dog or a fish. Some thought this show might be related to the animated series based on “Hair Love” that is currently being developed at HBO Max, but Cherry said he had nothing to do with Nick Jr.’s show.
Criticism of the potential plagiarism also focused on the fact that “Made by Maddie” was created by Paula Rosenthal, a white woman, while “Hair Love” was made by Cherry, who is a Black man. While Silvergate Media, the studio behind the show, says that Rosenthal worked with Black artists, many believed this was an instance of Hollywood stealing ideas from Black creatives while a white person gets the credit, something that the industry’s history is riddled with.
But Silvergate Media previously insisted that “Made by Maddie” had been in the works for five years and had nothing to do with “Hair Love,” which came out in 2019.
“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,” CEO Waheed Alli said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly this week. “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.”
NBC News and the Los Angeles Times received character designs and inspiration boards from Silvergate Media that date back to as early as September 2017. Studio representatives claim that one image was from 2015, but neither outlet could verify this. The project was first announced at Nickelodeon’s 2018 upfronts under the name “Fashion Ally.”
While these images predate the 2019 release date and 2018 production of “Hair Love,” the Oscar-winning short first became known to the public in July of 2017 when Cherry launched a Kickstarter to fund it. That Kickstarter had early illustrations attached to it, and even the earliest verified images from Silvergate Media come two months after this.
Cherry has not responded to the news of “Made by Maddie” being pulled. Nickelodeon has not announced any further plans in regards to the show.
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (NBC News) (Los Angeles Times)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.