Kobe Bryant Dropped From Judging Film Festival Over Rape Allegation, #MeToo Petition

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 18, 2018

Kobe Bryant has certainly done his best to fix his image following the 2003 rape allegation that marred the future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer's career for quite some time.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend and Oscar winning producer will not be serving on the jury for the Animation is Film Festival in Hollywood after an online petition demanded his removal over that 2003 rape allegation.

Kobe Bryant poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for "Dear Basketball", during the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California.

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".

Eric Beckman, the CEO of GKIDS, addressed the complaints and said that the stakeholders made a decision to "drop Bryant to keep its focus on films". She later refused to testify against Bryant, so the charges were inevitably dropped. "We are a young organization and it is important to keep our collective energies focused on the films, the participating filmmakers, and our festival attendees", explained Beckman.

"On its website 'Animation Is Film' specifically states one of their primary purposes is to champion and support women filmmakers". 'Keeping Kobe Bryant on the jury sets a precedent of lenience for sexual criminals and further undermines the visibility and respect that victims of harassment and assault deserve'.

Bryant released a statement saying he was honored to be invited and disappointed to be excluded.

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. I remain focused on changing the world in positive ways through diverse stories, characters, and leadership, in order to inspire the next generation'.

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