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Former NBA star Kobe Bryant won an Oscar on Sunday for his animated short film “Dear Basketball.” The internet both praised his win—and pointed out that he’s yet another Academy Award winner who has a history of sexual assault allegations.
Amid an Oscars ceremony that follows a year of the conversations around sexual assault allegations—and the following #MeToo and Time’s Up movements—people on Twitter questioned the double standard of the Academy to award Bryant despite the accusations against him.
Anything inconsistent in Kobe Bryant winning an Oscar in the midst of #MeToo ?— Scott Simon (@nprscottsimon) March 5, 2018
Hollywood: Times Up— #TeamKillmonger. (@thewayoftheid) March 5, 2018
[cut to Kobe Bryant on stage]
KOBE BRYANT! OSCAR WINNER! RAPIST! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) March 5, 2018
kobe bryant has as many oscars as sexual assault charges— Sordid History (@Sordid_History) March 5, 2018
Anyway, Kobe Bryant has an Oscar AND a sexual assault allegation.— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) March 5, 2018
"Last I checked, time was motherfucking up." -Jane Fonda under her breath as Kobe Bryant walks by— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) March 5, 2018
In 2003, Bryant was charged with rape when a 19-year-old hotel staffer said the basketball star assaulted her in Eagle, Colorado. Kobe was never prosecuted and maintains that he had consensual sex with the accuser.
“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 in a letter of apology 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.”
Kobe Bryant's apology to the woman who accused him of rape. pic.twitter.com/ezsctMGm4N— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) March 5, 2018
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.