LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The heartfelt animated short film “Hair Love” is getting a lot of love.
Hot off an Oscars win for best animated short film, the creators were honored by the Los Angeles City Council in honor of Black History Month. Councilman Curren Price led a special presentation Wednesday to recognize the Academy Award winning team, including director Matthew A. Cherry.READ MORE: The Deadline For Filing Tax Returns Is Monday, May 17
The short film tells the story of a black father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Cherry said that the story was inspired by a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects and that he wanted to promote hair love among young men and women of color.
“We really just did this project to do something that young people could see themselves in,” Cherry said. “Animation is an important medium… I think if we can get more representation in animation, it’ll just trickle down to other forms of filmmaking.”
Council members said the short film’s message about acceptance for all hair types is consistent with that of the CROWN Act, a law that went into effect in California on Jan. 1 and ensures protection from hair discrimination by expanding statutory protection for hair textures and styles in the Fair Employment and Housing Act and state education codes.READ MORE: Tom Bradley International Terminal At LAX Experiencing Power Outage In Some Areas
Earlier this month, Cherry, along with “Hair Love” producers Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, invited Texas high school student DeAndre Arnold to the Oscars, after he was suspended from school and told he couldn’t walk at his graduation unless he cut his dreadlocks. Arnold made his Hollywood debut on the red carpet next to Cherry.
Cherry – a former NFL wide receiver who left his career in 2007 to pursue filmmaking – became the second former professional athlete to win an Oscar. The first, also for best animated short film, was the late Kobe Bryant, for “Dear Basketball.”
Cherry, who brought his Oscar statuette to the city council presentation, dedicated both recognitions to the former Lakers star.MORE NEWS: Fire Guts Commercial Building In East LA
“This Oscar, this award, is dedicated to him,” he said, reiterating part of his Oscars speech. “May we all have a second act as great as his was.”