LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Lakers legend and Oscar-winning producer Kobe Bryant will not serve on the jury for the Animation is Film Festival in Hollywood after an online petition demanded his removal over a 2003 rape allegation.
Bryant, who won an Oscar for the animated short “Dear Basketball”, was scheduled as a juror for the animation festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres this weekend, according to Variety.
Variety, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and ASIFA Hollywood are all sponsors of the event.
“In light of the #MeToo movement, there has been little to no recourse for Kobe Bryant’s actions of sexual assault. We demand that GKIDS, Variety, & Annecy revoke their complicity in enabling a sexual predator to continue a life without any accountability both as an individual and a celebrity”, the petition stated.
Bryant voiced his disappointment with the move in a statement released to Variety.
“I was honored to have been originally invited by Animation is Film to serve on the 2018 Jury, and am disappointed to no longer serve in that capacity,” Bryant said. “This decision further motivates me and my commitment to building a studio that focuses on diversity and inclusion in storytelling for the animation industry. I remain focused on changing the world in positive ways through diverse stories, characters, and leadership, in order to inspire the next generation.”
Earlier this year, it was announced that Bryant would not be admitted to the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences despite winning an Oscar.
Following his victory, as is customary for Oscar winners, the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation Branch approved Bryant’s membership.
However, in what was described as a rare move, the Governors Committee of the Academy overruled the decision and rescinded the invitation.