Animation film fest rescinds Kobe Bryant invite after outcry

Kobe Bryant dropped from film festival over rape case

Kobe Bryant dropped from film festival over rape case

Kobe Bryant has been dropped from the jury of an animated film festival after calls for the former National Basketball Association star's ouster over a 2003 rape allegation.

Organizers called on GKIDS, the independent animation distributor that produces the event, as well as Variety and Annecy, sponsors of the event, to revoke their complicity in enabling a sexual predator to continue a life without any accountability both as an individual and a celebrity.

Kobe Bryant poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for "Dear Basketball", during the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. However, the incident is rearing its head again and has cost Bryant a spot in the Animation Is Film Festival. He wrote in a statement Wednesday that the festival's stakeholders chose to drop Bryant to keep its focus on films.

A petition popped up on change.org making the case to rethink their decision about having Kobe apart of such an event.

Bryant was arrested in 2003 and charged with sexually assaulting an employee of a Colorado hotel. Although he denied the charges, which were dropped when the accuser refused to testify, Bryant did admit to cheating on his wife Vanessa and reportedly settled a civil suit with the alleged victim. Kobe Bryant has since apologized to her publicity for what transpired.

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"This is an urgent time to say NO to toxic and violent behavior against women".

"After discussions with the various stakeholders of Animation Is Film, the decision has been made to remove Kobe Bryant from the 2018 jury" ... event honcho Eric Beckman says".

Over 17,000 people signed the petition, which started in the midst of the #MeToo movement.

In his own statement, Bryant said he was disappointed by the decision. I remain focused on changing the world in positive ways through diverse stories, characters, and leadership, in order to inspire the next generation'.

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