Screen grab of the short film Hair Love (YouTube/SONY)
Screen grab of the short film Hair Love (YouTube/SONY)

Matthew Cherry’s animated short Hair Love won the 2020 Academy Award for Best Animated short, following in the footsteps of the late basketball star Kobe Bryant whose animated short film Dear Basketball won last year. Watch Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, executive vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation, accept the Oscar for Short Film (Animated) for HAIR LOVE at Oscars 2020:


“Hair Love was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation,” Cherry said during his acceptance speech. “We wanted to normalize black hair. There’s a very important issue that’s out there, the CROWN ACT and if we can’t help to get this passed in all 50 states it will help stories like DeAndre Arnold’s who’s our special guest tonight.” The CROWN Act ensures protection against discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and state Education Codes.

DeAndre Arnold is a Texas teen who was banned from attending his prom and graduation because of wearing his hair in dreadlocks, a natural black hairstyle.

Actresses Yara Shahidi and Keri Shahidi, Academy Award winner Jordan Peele and Harrison Barnes served as co-executive producers on the project with Hollywood actors Gabourey Sidibe, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade signing on as associate producers in addition to Stephanie Frederic, Claude Kelly and N’Dambi Gillespie. Frank Abney and Andrew Hawkins served as executive producers of the film, which started as a Kickstarter project. Hollywood it-woman Issa Rae is the voice of the mother in the short film.

Watch the full version of the animated short film Hair Love below:


This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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