The Oscars nominations have been announced, and fans have a lot of opinions about this year’s pool of nominees. While some Oscar nods have thrilled movie goers, others are particularly disappointed with the organization’s decision to nominate Kobe Bryant.
The former Lakers all-star has been nominated for Best Animated Short Film for his movie, Dear Basketball, and now, fans are calling out the Oscars for hypocritically nominating someone who has previously been accused of sexual assault and rape. Fans claim organizers have a double standard when it come to Bryant and other men in Hollywood.
For those who are unaware, Bryant was formally charged with rape in 2003. The basketball star was accused of assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado. Bryant claimed that the sex was consensual. But he was never prosecuted for the alleged crime because the victim dropped the case after reportedly receiving a flood of hate mail and death threats from sports fans. Instead, the alleged victim filed a civil suit against Kobe, to which they settled quietly.
“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,” Kobe said about the incident at the time. “After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”
Many Twitter users are accusing Bryant of not receiving the same consequences as some of the men in Hollywood. Russell Simmons was forced to step down from his companies following an outpour of sexual assault allegations. Kevin Spacey was also booted off of Netflix’s House of Cards.
What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination. It means so much that the @TheAcademy deemed #DearBasketball worthy of contention. Thanks to the genius of @GlenKeanePrd & John Williams for taking my poem to this level. It's an honor to be on this team. #OscarNoms pic.twitter.com/M2joyk9D1V
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 23, 2018
Oscars organizers have not responded to fan outrage. Kobe has not said anything about the negative feedback, but took to Twitter to stress how grateful he was for the nomination. “This is beyond the realm of imagination. It means so much that the @TheAcademy deemed #DearBasketball worthy of contention,” he wrote. “It’s an honor to be on this team.”
Even so, that hasn’t stopped the people from expressing their frustrations on Twitter. See what they had to say below.
Kobe Bryant's short film was nominated for an Academy Award! That puts him on a very short list of people who have been nominated for an Oscar AND have been publicly accused of rape. CONGRATS KOBE!
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) January 23, 2018
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
Just a reminder that Aziz Ansari's career is fine. Mike Tyson's career is fine. Sean Penn's career is fine. Woody Allen's career is fine. Kobe Bryant's career is fine. Stop talking about how women are "ruining these men's careers." We've seen very few careers actually ruined.
— Sophie Ellman-Golan (@EgSophie) January 17, 2018