Former NFL Player Young Love Series: Matthew A. Cherry, a former NFL player turned director, aims to showcase the resilience of young parents in his new cartoon show, “Young Love.” This show continues the story from Cherry’s short film “Hair Love,” which was funded by Kickstarter and directed and co-produced by her. “Hair Love” is about a black father named Stephen Love. He embarks on an emotional journey to learn to style his daughter’s hair during his wife’s cancer illness.
In “Young Love,” Cherry collaborates with artists like Scott Mescudi, aka “Kid Cudi,” and Issa Rae, creator of “Insecure.” They follow Stephen Love and stylist Angela Young as they navigate life’s ups and downs and become parents.
Cherry wrote “Young Love” out of curiosity about Angela’s life before her illness. Cherry believes addressing the challenges people face after dangerous situations is crucial, despite the positive outcome in “Hair Love” with Angela’s recovery. He says, “The main character gets cancer and dies in many movies and shows.” But you rarely witness someone recovering and confronting their near-death experience.
“Young Love” is unique as it focuses on younger parents, particularly from a Black perspective. Cherry claims that many kids’ shows, such as “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” and “Bob’s Burgers,” feature characters in their forties. Cherry wanted to give the screen a new and realistic look by showing a young couple dealing with the challenges of parenthood.
The “Young Love” team aimed for a show appealing to kids and adults. Cherry’s sports knowledge aided his team leadership. He compares his job to a coach’s, as he needs to motivate people and ensure everyone is aligned towards a common goal.
Matthew A. Cherry has done significant work, not just in entertainment. In 2019, California passed the Crown Act after “Hair Love” was released. With this rule, you can’t discriminate based on hair appearance or texture. The Crown Act has been successful in Texas and other places. This is a step towards banning hair-based judgments.
Cherry’s story demonstrates significant changes. Through his stories, he has helped many people with hard work, dedication, and a bit of luck. He changed rules, improving lives.