Oscar-Winning Director Of 'Hair Love' Takes Victory Lap In Chicago

Rachel Pierson
February 20, 2020 - 9:31 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Oscar-winning filmmaker and Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry screened his animated short film “Hair Love” at Macy's on State Street Thursday as part of Black History Month.

The story centers around the relationship between a father, his daughter, and her hair.

"She loves her hair. She got it from her mom," Cherry said.

Making his debut in animated film, Cherry wrote and directed the short. He said he was inspired by social media.

"I came across all these incredible viral videos of black dads that were doing their daughters' hair, and if you ever needed a bigger sign from god, this is it," he said. "I launched a Kickstarter in July of 2017, all the way to the Oscars."

He also said the film addresses a major issue in mainstream media: representation.

"When you don't see characters that look like you, that have the same skin tone as you, they don't have the same hair as you, it really can do a number on your self-confidence," he said.

Hair Love Director Matthew A. Cherry
Matthew A. Cherry, right, discusses his film "Hair Love" (WBBM Newsradio/Rachel Pierson)

But now, “Hair Love” is spreading across the country. Three states have adopted the CROWN Act, an acronym that stands for CREATING A RESPECTFUL AND OPEN WORLD FOR NATURAL HAIR.

"Our love needs to be normalized, our hair needs to be normalized," Cherry said.


Related: Oscar Goes To ... 'Hair Love'!