‘Hair Love’ Film About Black Father Doing Daughter’s Hair Wins Oscar

Matthew Cherry X Karen Toliver
Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Congratulations to the filmmakers behind Hair Love – the animated short film about hair. Director Matthew A. Cherry and producer Karen Rupert Toliver went from a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 to Oscar winners Sunday night after taking home Best Animated Short Film at the 2020 Academy Awards Sunday night.

[SEE ALSO: Teen Who Refused To Cut Locs Attends Oscars With ‘Hair Love’ Producer Matthew Cherry]

The natural hair film follows dad Stephen and daughter Zuri as he figures out that Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It made its theatrical debut last fall ahead of Angry Birds 2 and it was also showcased ahead of Jumanji: The Next Level.


Hair Love
Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Animation

“We have a firm belief that representation matters deeply,” said Karen while accepting the award. “Especially in cartoons, because in cartoons that when we see our first movies and it’s how we shape our lives and think about how we see the world.”

Hair Love was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation,” said Matthew. “We wanted to normalize Black hair.”

Matthew also encouraged support for the CROWN — “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair” — Act legislation being introduced across the country to protect individuals against hair discrimination in the workplace, as well as public and charter schools.

“If we can help to get this passed in all 50 states, it can help stories like DeAndre Arnold, who is our special guest tonight, stop happening.”

Press play below to watch the full acceptance speech.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. she is a Black beauty editor; founder of Sadiaa, the premiere beauty directory for women of color, and editor for HypeHair.com.