‘Hair Love’ receives nomination for Best Animated Short
The former University of Akron and NFL wide receiver Matthew Cherry just made a lot of people proud as he became the second former professional athlete in history to receive an Oscar nomination for his animated short “Hair Love.”
Cherry still holds the school record for most yards on punt returns in a season, playing alongside former Browns’ quarterback Charlie Fyre on the Zips. However, Cherry left the NFL after about three seasons playing for the Panthers, Bengals, Jaguars, and Ravens. He went on to pursue a career in media, obtaining a relative degree from Akron.
He went on to have a successful career, directing music videos, writing and directing and producing multiple films and television shows. Some titles under his name include “BlacKkKlansman,” “Whiskey Cavalier,” “The Last O.G.,” and “Black-ish.”
However, Cherry’s biggest accomplishment comes in the form of an Oscar nomination for a 2017 Kickstarter campaign-backed animated short “Hair Love.” Raising more than $300,000, Cherry wrote and directed the short alongside co-director Bruce Smith.
Smith’s work includes executive production for “The Proud Family,” and his work in “Tarzan” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and “Princess and the Frog.” Everett Downing Jr., known for his work in “Ice Age,” “WALL-E,” “Up” and “Toy Story 3,” animated the short. Actress Issa Rae voiced the main character and even became one of the announcers of the Oscar nominations. Even former Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins played a role in the short, executive producing.
If you haven’t heard or seen the short, “Hair Love” is about a black father learning how to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. It’s seven minutes of emotion, tears, smiles, and laughter.
Are you looking forward to the Oscars? It airs on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. so be sure to tune in.
By: Maytinee Kramer