Film & TV

Kobe Bryant Wins at Time’s Up Oscars Despite Rape Accusation

Social media came down on Gary Oldman's win as well.

Kobe Bryant took home an Oscar for an animated short film yesterday evening, for his short Dear Basketball, a choice some thought inappropriate given the “Time’s Up” and #MeToo themes of the 90th Academy Awards.

Bryant was arrested and charged with sexual assault in 2003 when a 19-year-old woman accused him of rape. The basketball star claimed the encounter was consensual, however, and the case fizzled out when the woman said she did not want to testify in court.

Bryant apologized to the woman, and a little over a year after the incident, in 2005, they settled the civil assault case for undisclosed terms.

“As basketball players, we’re told to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said in his acceptance speech, a reference to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who remarked that athletes should stay out of politics. “I’m glad we did a little bit more than that.”

Condemnation on Twitter was immediate, with several high-profile users casting shade on the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s win.

Another first-time Oscar winner, Gary Oldman, took home Best Actor for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Some on social media roped the actor into their criticism of Bryant, reminding readers that Oldman also stands accused of domestic abuse.

Oldman’s ex-wife Donya Fiorentino claimed during their divorce that Oldman choked and beat her as their small children watched, crying.

Despite Hollywood’s furious attempts to wash its hands of the bad reputation it has earned from its history of sexual misconduct, this year saw more accused men awarded Oscars than last year did.

However, James Franco was snubbed and Casey Affleck withdrew his appearance; both men have been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. Affleck won Best Actor last year.


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