Future NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant took home a surprise Oscar Sunday night for his role in the documentary short “Dear Basketball”.
Based on the letter he published in 2015 announcing his retirement from the game, the nod represents a stunning achievement for the former Staples Center assassin.
The internet’s reaction to Kobe’s win was beyond polarizing, it was tribal.
Messages of support could be found all over the place, but there was an unexpected dynamic within the reaction that has raised eyebrows.
The second Kobe won the Oscar, new outlets published reports about the sexual assault allegations levied against Bryant in 2003.
Didn’t watch the Oscars. However, am confused on Kobe Bryant now being an Academy award winner..What about those 2003 rape allegations? What about #timesup #metoo? Interesting, Hollywood… love the consistency!
— Howie Carr (@HowieCarrShow) March 5, 2018
Citizens who normally could care less about the #metoo movement became freedom fighters in the blink of an eye.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 5, 2018
Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a woman during stop at a resort in Eagle Colorado, Kobe maintained that the encounter was consensual, but the alleged victim said otherwise.
Kobe was arrested, interrogated, and experienced due process in a very public way, a circumstance that almost cost him his marriage, and affected his earning potential for years.
The situation was a circus, Kobe was flying to Colorado for court hearings, and flying back to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers that night.
Bryant would eventually walk on the charges, but questions have loomed about what exactly took place between Bryant, and the alleged victim.
It was assumed by some observers at the time that Kobe was innocent, but of course we will never know the truth.
The story is 15 years old, and was the biggest news in sports for months on in when it took place.
2018 is a much different place however, Kobe(along with his wife and daughters) will now have to confront the situation again, as will the victim.
It will be a water cooler topic, Kobe’s big night has been tainted by allegations he confronted directly over a decade ago, the joy he felt in winning the award has come at a price.
Is that really neccesary?
Depends on who you ask, but the #metoo movement is serious business, and Kobe Bryant found that out tonight.