LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will not be admitted to the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences despite winning an Oscar this year for his short film “Dear Basketball.”
Following his victory, as is customary for Oscar winners, the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation Branch approved Bryant’s membership, the animated news site Cartoon Brew reported Wednesday.
However, in what was described as a rare move, the Governors Committee of the Academy overruled the decision and rescinded the invitation.
According to Cartoon Brew, the committee reasoned that Bryant needed “some evidence of a larger career” in film animation before being approved to join.
In March, Bryant won the Oscar in the best animated short film category for “Dear Basketball,” a six-minute film based on a letter that Bryant wrote in the Player’s Tribune in November 2015 announcing his retirement from the NBA. The short film was directed by Disney animator Glen Keane and scored by legendary composer John Williams.
Bryant’s nomination and win received considerable criticism amid the “#MeToo” movement to rape charges brought against him 15 years ago.
In July 2003, Bryant was arrested on charges of sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman at a hotel in Edwards, Colo. The charges were eventually dropped when the victim refused to testify against him. A civil lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.
A petition on the website Care2 demanding that Bryant’s Oscar nomination be rescinded garnered more than 17,300 signatures.