When it comes to making controversial waves on the small screen, Nick Jr. is probably one of the last channels audiences would think about. (Minus those bogus Paw Patrol rumors that got spread around earlier this year.) But the brand new animated children's show Made by Maddie has already attracted a sizable backlash online after unveiling its first trailer, which inspired accusations that the new series is essentially a copycat take on Matthew A. Cherry's Oscar-winning 2019 short film Hair Love.
The company behind Made by Maddie has responded to the negative criticisms and plagiarism claims, saying the accusations are unfounded. The CEO of production company Silvergate Media, Waheed Alli, released the statement below to EW.
Made by Maddie is a preschool show about an 8-year-old girl who uses her fashion sense and design ingenuity to solve problems. 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.
The idea that Silvergate Media has been working on Made by Maddie for five years would indicate that the show was in one form of production or another before Hair Love would have been accessible for viewing going into the Academy Awards. Obviously Hair Love's Matthew A. Cherry didn't create the short in a day, so it would have also been in development for a while prior to its release. Animation is quite the timely process in all forms.
The Made by Maddie trailer drew a lot of all-caps criticism on social media, with people drawing comparisons between characters' hairstyles (naturally), environments and even the pet of choice.
Hair Love's Matthew A. Cherry addressed the situation by showing some attention to a variety of posts calling Made by Maddie out, though he hasn't yet offered up any lengthy commentary on the matter. What he did do, though, was share the following emoji.
By all means, the argument could very well blow over quickly if Made by Maddie is released and shows itself to be more of a traditional Nick Jr. animated series, and less of a talent-stealing travesty. And if the opposite occurs, then things could get pretty hectic on the children's television front. Check out the trailer below to see what you think.
For those who want to make all the side-by-side comparisons possible, Made by Maddie is set to debut on Nick Jr. on Sunday, September 13, at 11:00 a.m. ET. In the meantime, peep out some of the classic Nickelodeon shows you can currently find on CBS All Access, and then check out all the other new and returning shows that will be seeking audiences soon with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.