Matthew A. Cherry
Matthew A. Cherry
(Photo by Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

'Hair Love' Creator Matthew A. Cherry Announces He's Directing an Episode of 'Saved by the Bell' Reboot

Matthew A. Cherry (Photo by Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

The Oscar winner has previously directed episodes of The Last O.G. and Mixed-ish.

The Saved by the Bell reboot has been gearing up for its launch in recent months, the series will be launching under Peacock the new streaming service by NBCUniversal. Matthew A. Cherry, director of the Oscar-winning animated short film Hair Love has announced that he’ll be directing an episode of the show.  

Cherry is a former NFL player who joined the entertainment industry in 2007. His robust career in film has been by his move to Los Angeles which led to him landing work as a production assistant on over 40 commercials and as a director for over 20 music videos. Throughout his journey, he's directed episodes of The Last O.G., Mixed-ish and The Unicorn. A few of his films including 9 Rides (2016) and The Last Fall (2012) have premiered at SXSW, The Last Fall was his first feature film. 

Hair Love was originally a Kickstarter funded project originally launched in 2017. The short film follows the story of a father struggling to do his daughter’s natural hair. It’s emotionally moving and sheds light on the connection black family’s have with hair and how it impacts their lives. The father-daughter dynamic is put on full display in the short. The film would later be turned into a best-selling book.

Hollywood’s diversity issue has been called out for years. In fact in 2018, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, a study divulged that despite an uptick in Hollywood films by black filmmakers, the director’s chair still remained “overwhelmingly white.” Cherry being selected as a director for an episode of the Saved by the Bell reboot sends a positive message. Back in January, the scripted series rounded out its lead cast. Additions included Haskiri Velazquez (The Birch), Mitchell Hoog (Harriet), Alycia Pascual-Pena (Chase) and Belmont Cameli (Empire), reports Deadline.

Original-series cast members Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Josie Totah and Dexter Darden will be a part of the reboot. Lark Voorhies will not be returning, two weeks ago she spoke out and shared she was hurt about being excluded from the revival. Dustin Diamond who played Screech also won’t be joining the series.