Kobe Bryant has done what few other athletes have, which is land himself an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film for his movie, Dear Basketball. The film, which is narrated by the NBA great, is based on a farewell letter he wrote before his retirement in 2016.
While plenty of fans are ecstatic for the ball player, many believe the Academy is working against the #MeToo movement by nominating someone once accused of sexual assault.
Bryant was arrested and accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel staffer in Colorado back in 2003. He also reportedly asked the police if he could pay her to make the situation go away, according to Hello Giggles.
Charges were dropped when the accuser declined to testify. Instead, she filed a civil lawsuit, and Bryant settled the case quietly for an undisclosed amount.
He also wrote a letter of apology, admitting, “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”
This is enough for some to feel the retired sportsman shouldn’t have been nominated, considering the current climate of Hollywood. Check out some responses to his nomination below.
Kobe Bryant’s defense against rape charges was essentially, “Who wouldn’t want to fuck Kobe? It didn’t seem like rape to me.” His legal strategy was essentially, “Lady, we will make your life a living hell.” And we’re complicit: America let it slide.
— Jesse Thorn (@JesseThorn) January 23, 2018
Congrats Academy you just nominated an accused rapist – Kobe Bryant for best animated short. #OscarNominations
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) January 23, 2018
Read the transcripts from the case. Read what that woman had to go through. What in the hell were Oscars voters thinking? https://t.co/38zaNPjvHl
— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) January 23, 2018
— Kaye Taylor (@OhKaye_DohKaye) January 24, 2018
— yr favorite dysfunctional redhead (@frumpyuncle) January 24, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.