Matthew Cherry dedicates ‘Hair Love’ Oscar to Kobe Bryant in acceptance speech

Matthew A. Cherry (Image source: Instagram / @MatthewACherry)

Filmmaker Matthew Cherry dedicated the Oscar win for Hair Love to Kobe Bryant.

In an Oscar year lacking diversity, Hair Love — the animated short film by Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver — captured the award during the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night Feb. 9, 2020.

Hair Love is the story of a Black man who must do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Issa Rae (HBO’s “Insecure,” The Photograph) also appeared in the short as the voice of the mother.

Cherry thanked Bryant during his acceptance speech. “I’d like to thank Kobe Bryant. May we all have a second act as great as his was,” Cherry said.

With the win, Toliver becomes the first Black woman to win Best Animated Short. Cherry is only the second Black man to win the award in that category;  Bryant was the first for his short animated film Dear Basketball in 2017.

Toliver spoke about the importance of representation and how cartoons first shape our moviegoing experience.

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

Watch Cherry and Toliver give their acceptance speeches below.

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