Academy reportedly denies Kobe Bryant membership in organization that picks Oscar winners

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reportedly denied Kobe Bryant membership to its organization. (AP)

Kobe Bryant may have an Academy Award, but that doesn’t mean he’s qualified to choose who wins them moving forward.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences denied the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar admission to join the prestigious organization that determines who goes home with a coveted Oscar statue every year, the L.A. Times reports.

Kobe turned down despite Oscar win

Bryant won an Oscar in March for the short film “Dear Basketball” that was based on a poem he posted on the Player’s Tribune. He also narrated the film that was created by director Glen Kean, who won an Oscar alongside Bryant. 

Oscar winners are automatically considered for membership, according to the Times, but Bryant’s lack of actual movie experience seems to have knocked him out of the running for the appointment.

Cartoon Brew, which broke the news, explained that Bill Kroyer, a governor of the short films and animation branch of the academy, lobbied for Bryant.

Kroyer presented the branch’s arguments to the academy governors committee, telling them that Bryant has an “expressed desire to continue working in short films,” but the governors said that the standard of having an established career had been applied to applicants in other branches, and insisted that it be applied toward Bryant.

Apparently writing a poem and reading it on screen doesn’t qualify Bryant as a film expert. 

Bryant’s Oscar came with controversy

Bryant’s nomination and win also drew ire during an Academy Award ceremony in the midst of the #metoo movement. Bryant was accused of rape in 2003 in a case that was eventually dropped.

Thousands signed a petition to rescind Bryant’s Oscar win because of the allegation.

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