The Academy has reportedly turned down the NBA superstar and Oscar winner for consideration for membership, despite being recommended by its executive committee.
Former NBA superstar-turned-director Kobe Bryant will not be one of the new entrants into the Academy’s membership, despite having won an Oscar earlier this year for his debut film Dear Basketball.
The 2018 list for new members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is announced next week, but Bryant’s name won’t be on it, despite him winning the Oscar for Best Animated Short back in February and him being recommended by the Academy’s executive committee.
However, his name was removed after the list was then reviewed by a second committee, which will present the list of potential new members to the full board of governors on Saturday (June 23rd).
Kobe Bryant with his wife at the 2018 Academy Awards
It’s thought that the reasoning for this is because 39 year old Bryant hasn’t got a large enough body of work under his belt to be considered for membership, according to Cartoon Brew and confirmed by other outlets. Dear Basketball was his first film, albeit one he wrote, executive-produced and providing voiceover work for under the direction of animator Glen Keane.
Inevitably, some will speculate that the snub is in part due to the post-#MeToo environment and Bryant’s previous legal troubles. Fifteen years ago, the star was accused of sexual assault, but the case was dropped after his accuser refused to testify.
The accuser later filed a civil lawsuit, which Bryant settled out of court by way of an apology but not an admission of guilt.
Bryant played for Los Angeles Lakers for two entire decades until his retirement in 2016. Since then, he has worked on a film career, with his company Kobe., Inc. already undertaking work on future projects after his Oscar triumph earlier this year.