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Matthew Cherry’s ‘Hair Love’ Receives Well Deserved Oscar Nomination

Matthew Cherry’s ‘Hair Love’ Receives Well Deserved Oscar Nomination


Hair Love, the popular children’s book turned animated short by former NFL player, Matthew Cherry, gets nominated for an Oscar, USA Today reports.

We first wrote about Cherry and his budding animated short in 2017. The NFL player turned filmmaker was on a mission to highlight the relationship between Black fathers and daughters in a short film, inspired by viral videos of fathers doing their daughters’ hair. At the time, Cherry said that his focus was representation, and he wanted to make sure that Black fathers and their daughters were the focus in his film. "Media is impressionable and when little kids see shows, movies and magazines and don’t see people who look like them in a heroic place or complex place or don’t see themselves at all it makes them seem abnormal or an exception to the rule. And we’re trying to make them feel normal and have a little Black girl with maybe kinky hair feel like she’s represented,” he told Because Of Them We Can.

Cherry went on to launch a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $300,000, surpassing the initial goal of $75,000 and Cherry’s stretch goal of $200,000, setting a new record for short film fundraising on the site. It was clear that we weren’t the only ones loving Hair Love. After almost two years in production, the short was ready to debut. And it debuted big, in theaters nationally, alongside Sony’s Angry Birds Movie 2. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited for Hair Love to be playing with The Angry Birds Movie 2 in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time,” Cherry said.

We felt the very same way and audiences received the animated short well. Before the end of 2019, the full short was released online and now the announcement of an Oscar nomination is here. We really can’t believe it!

The announcement came via Issa Rae, who also lent her voice to the film. Cherry shared a video of the announcement with his team watching, congratulating each other among screams of joy and countless, “OMGs.” 

“WOW! And to have @IssaRae announce it! It feels like a dream. Huge thanks to our great team … our kickstarter backers & @SonyAnimation for believing in us,” Cherry tweeted.

What we love most is how Cherry tweeted eight years ago that he would be Oscar nominated one day. Well sir, today is that day and we couldn't be happier for you. 

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards will air February 9th on ABC.

What a journey! You already know who we’re rooting for!