Former basketball star Kobe Bryant was removed as a member of the jury for the Animation Is Film Festival, scheduled for this weekend in Los Angeles. Yahoo Sports reports that the action came after a petition surfaced calling for his removal over allegations of rape dating back to 2003.
“The petition, which was started by Woman and Allies on Change.org, said that in ‘light of the #MeToo movement, there has been little to no recourse for Kobe Bryant’s actions of sexual assault,'” the story reports. “Organizers called on GKIDS, the independent animation distributor that produces the event, as well as Variety and Annecy, sponsors of the event, to revoke what they call complicity in enabling a sexual predator to continue a life without accountability both as an individual and a celebrity.”
The report quotes Eric Beckman, the CEO of GKIDS, saying the event’s stakeholders decided to “drop Bryant to keep its focus on films.”
Yahoo Sports notes that the festival, which launched just last year, states as one of its missions to “champion and support women filmmakers.”