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Basketball player, Kobe Bryant, is infamously known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He also put out a short film “Dear Basketball” which he won an Academy Award for.
Due to a petition that was put out by change.org, Kobe Bryant was removed from a animated film festival jury. The petition had over 150 signatures, and was created from the 2003 rape allegations that are resurfacing- although the chargers were drop.
The petition reads. “ This is an urgent time to say NO to toxic and violent behavior against women…Keeping Kobe Byrant on the jury sets a precedent of lenience for sexual criminals and future undermines the visibility and respect that victims of harassment and assault deserve.”
The founder of the festival, Eric Beckman stated “We are a young organization and it is important to keep our collective energies focused on the films, the participating filmmakers, and our festival attendees.”
Kobe made a statement, stating that he was “disappointed” about this.
“This decision further motivates me and my commitment to building a studio that focuses on diversity and inclusion in storytelling for the animation industry,” Bryant said.