- Kobe Bryant is an Oscar nominee this year as an executive producer for one of the “Best Animated Short Film” nominees.
- There is a petition with over sixteen thousand signatures calling for Bryant’s nomination to be taken away due to his sexual assault case from 2003.
- The criminal case against Bryant for sexual assault was dropped, but his accuser later filed a civil suit, which he settled out of court.
Kobe Bryant is a first-time Oscar nominee this year, but in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement, his nomination has drawn criticism and brought attention back on his sexual assault case.
Bryant was nominated as an executive producer for “Dear Basketball,” a short animated film based on the letter Bryant wrote to the Player’s Tribune announcing his retirement. The film is nominated in the “Best Animated Short Film” category at the Oscars this year.
The petition refers to the sexual assault case against Bryant from 2003, when he was accused of raping a hotel employee in Colorado. Bryant’s accuser eventually chose not to testify, leading to the criminal charges being dropped. She did file a civil suit, which was settled out of court.
Kelsey Bourgeois, who started the petition, told Broadly, “He settled with his accuser. So in my mind, that doesn’t really make him innocent – it just makes him able to pay off someone who he wronged. I, of course, couldn’t possibly know what actually happened. But we have to believe women, especially when they accuse men who are typically ‘above the law,’ so to speak.”
Cole Kazdin of Broadly recounts more details of the case in question.