On March 4, 2018, Kobe Bryant took the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to collect his Academy Award. Announcing his name Mark Hammil, actor made famous for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga.
The Lakers legend won in the “Short Animated Films” category with the movie “Dear Basketball” written by Bryant himself and based on his letters addressed to the world of basketball in 2015, before leaving this sport forever.
His award ceremony will remain in history as Kobe was the first and only professional player of the NBA to receive an Oscar and especially the first African-American to win in this category.
Evidently, however, these two records did not seem enough to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the organization that every year in March assigns the prestigious statuettes to the professionals of cinema.
The Oscar winners of all categories have direct access to the selection phase to become part of the Academy and then be able to decide who will be the winners of the years to come. However, an Oscar does not seem to allow direct access to the prestigious Hollywoodian organization.
In fact, the Academy has refused the entry of Kobe Bryant as his member claiming that his contribution to the world of cinema is limited to that one short animated movie and therefore not to be considered as a relevant talent according to TMZ.com
This is the motivation behind the rejection that perplexes many, especially considering the scandal in which Kobe Bryant was involved.
In 2003, in fact, Bryant had been accused of rape by a woman who had brought him to trial. The trial ended with an agreement between the parties that had seen Kobe Bryant pay the sum of five million dollars.
The award ceremony with the Oscar of Kobe Bryant in the era of the #metoo movements had attracted several criticisms, it seemed a whammy towards those who were fighting for women’s rights and who had succeeded somehow by having swept away from the awards ceremony actors entangled in events similar to those of Bryant as James Franco and Casey Affleck, winner in 2017 as best actor.
The exclusion of Kobe Bryant from the Academy could therefore be a further attempt by Hollywood elite to clean up his image after the huge Weinstein scandal and the numerous cases of harassment that involved the biggest stars in Hollywood. Or maybe they are just right, a short animated movie does not turn anybody into movie star…