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Petition Cites Sex Assault Claim in Bid to Void Kobe Bryant's Oscar Nom

Incident from 2003 specified by campaign that has gathered more than 12,000 signatures of support.

A petition is seeking to void 'Dear Basketball's nomination for the best animated short Oscar over a 2003 incident in which writer, producer and NBA star Kobe Bryant was accused of rape.

A petition with more than 12,000 signatures is asking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to rescind Dear Basketball’s nomination for best animated short film due to accusations of past sexual misconduct on behalf of its writer and producer, retired NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Posted on Care 2 Petitions, the campaign refers to an incident in July 2003, when Bryant was accused of rape by a 19-year-old employee of The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle, Colo., where Bryant was staying at the hotel awaiting surgery.

Bryant was arrested, but criminal charges were dropped after the accuser refused to testify. A civil suit between the parties was settled for an undisclosed sum and an apology from Bryant, who admitted to having consensual relations with the woman.

Dear Basketball is based on a poem Bryant wrote about his retirement from the NBA, and is animated by Glen Keane, a legendary animator who worked for decades at Disney.

Sexual misconduct and harassment have dominated the news nationwide and within the film industry after allegations of misconduct against The Weinstein Co. co-founder Harvey Weinstein were made public, forcing him out of the company he founded.

The petition has a goal of 13,000 signatures, which it seems likely to reach soon.

Source: Care 2 Petitions, The Hollywood Reporter

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.