Kobe Bryant will not be a juror at the Animation is Film Festival this weekend, after stakeholders agreed it was best to remove him due to his 2003 rape allegations.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star and Academy Award winner (for his Dear Basketball short) was booted from the event after a Change.org petition asked for Bryant to be removed due to rape allegations from more than a decade ago. In 2003, Bryant was arrested after a sexual assault complaint was filed by a 19-year-old Colorado hotel employee. Bryant was accused of rape. The charges were dropped, although a civil lawsuit was launched and eventually settled.
The petition received more than 150 votes, and the organization worked quickly to take Bryant off the jury.
“After discussions with the various stakeholders of Animation Is Film, the decision has been made to remove Kobe Bryant from the 2018 jury,” said event organizer Eric Beckman.
Bryant hasn’t responded publicly to the news.
It’s easy to understand why the organization removed Bryant from the event. The accusations were massive and even though he wasn’t convicted of a crime, there enough of a history that the film festival didn’t want anything to do with him once people let it be known they didn’t want him there – which is their right.