Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant recently won an Oscar for his animated short “Dear Basketball,” but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has barred him from being admitted as a member of the Academy, Variety reports.
Following the Oscar win for Bryant and director Glen Keane for “Dear Basketball,” Bryant was approved for admission by the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation branch, Variety notes.
“However, the Academy’s governors committee overruled the decision and rescinded the invitation, Variety has confirmed. Though the branch, through governor Bill Kroyer, argued that Bryant has expressed a desire to work in the short films space, the committee felt the Los Angeles Lakers legend needed to show evidence of a larger career in the field before being allowed to represent it as a member of the organization,” Variety reports.
The report notes that Bryant’s Oscar nomination sparked controversy during an Oscar season that played out against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, “when more than 17,000 individuals signed a petition demanding that Bryant be stripped of his ‘Dear Basketball’ Oscar nomination on the grounds of his 2003 sexual assault case. (That case was dropped after Bryant’s accuser refused to testify, and he later settled a civil suit out of court.)”