“Hair Love,” the animated short directed by former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry and produced by Karen Rupert Toliver, took home the Academy award for Best Animated Short. Cherry explained in his acceptance speech that the film was made because it is his intention to, “normalize black hair” as it is “a very important issue.” He went on to explain that there needs to be “more representation” in animation as a whole. He used his moment on stage to talk about the CROWN Act (which disallows hair-based discrimination, be it style or texture). He acknowledged DeAndre Arnold, the black teen from Texas who had been suspended for having dreadlocks, who was in the Oscars audience as a guest. Cherry, who became the second former athlete to win an Academy Award behind Kobe Bryant, dedicated the win in Bryant’s honor saying that he hopes, “we all have a second act as great as his.” Toliver made history as the first black woman to win an Oscar in Animation.