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Former Akron Zips football player, Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry secures deal with Warner Bros. television

Cherry explained to The Hollywood Reporter just how important it is for Black voices to be heard during this time.
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Karen Rupert Toliver, left, and Matthew A. Cherry accept the award for best animated short film for "Hair Love" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — Former Akron Zips football player Matthew A. Cherry has added another accomplishment to his belt. 

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Academy Award  winner had secured a deal with Warner Brothers Television. Cherry will "create, develop and produce new material for multiple platforms," according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Cherry explained to the publication just how important it is for Black voices to be heard during this time. 

"It’s an important time to be a Black creative working in this industry, and I look forward to creating impactful projects and partnering with other talented marginalized voices in our community," he said.

The deal for Cherry, a Chicago native, comes after his short-film "Hair Love" garnered worldwide recognition and earned him an Oscar. The heartwarming piece tells the story of a father learning to fix up his young daughter's hair for the first time.

Cherry was an All-MAC wide receiver at Akron and graduated with a media degree, and after three years on various NFL preseason rosters and practice squads began his film career. Besides "Hair Love," he directed the full-length feature films "The Last Fall" and "9 Rides."

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