Matthew A. Cherry took home an Oscar last night as Hair Love won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. However, he may have been the least surprised person at the annual event over the honor.
While the director looked visibly excited about the win, he had already predicted it many years ago.
On Twitter, in 2012, Cherry wrote, “I’m gonna be nominated for an Oscar one day. Already claiming it.”
Not only that, he publicly sought help for what would be the beginnings of Hair Love.
Cherry and producer Karen Rupert Toliver accepted their awards last night for the incredible short film, which portrays the touching story of a Black father who learns how to style his young daughter’s hair while his wife is in the hospital.
“Thank you so much to the Academy and everybody out there who supported this film — there were lots of you,” Toliver told the audience. “We share this award with you.”
She continued: “There were so many filmmakers that worked so hard on this, and it was a labor of love. It was because we have a firm belief that representation matters deeply. Especially in cartoons, 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.”
"Hair Love was done because we wanted to see more representation in animation. We wanted to normalize Black hair," Cherry said after Toliver’s speech.
On Good Morning America Monday, Cherry said that even though he predicted his win it still “felt like a dream.”
“It still doesn’t even feel real sitting in my hand right now,” he said, looking down at his Oscar. “A lot of people out there literally have a clock that counts down to zero and you gotta get your thoughts out ASAP or they’re gonna play you off.”
Toliver added, “It was just such a surreal experience. I just knew that this was bigger than me and Matthew, that this was a moment about diversity and we really kinda wanted to represent for everyone and just open the doors for everyone to be as diverse as possible in this medium.”