Oscar 2018: Koby Bryant, NBA Star and Oscar Winner, Denied Admission into the Academy

The two easiest (and fastest) ways to become an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is to win an Oscar or to be nominated for one.

See my book, All About Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards.

However, this is not the case of retired NBA star and this year’s Oscar winner, Kobe Bryant.

The animation and shorts branch that nominated Bryant and animator Glen Keane’s animated short “Dear Basketball,” which earned the Oscar, had no problem with extending him an invitation to become an Oscar member. He’s a local sports star. At February’s Oscar Nominees lunch, Bryant was given a welcome as he joined the annual nominees collective portrait.

According to the estimable reporter and dear colleague Anne Thompson, the main reason for the rejection was the Academy “strict” code of conduct.

The Governors of the Academy voted to rescind the Short Films & Animation branch invitation to Bryant. Bill Kroyer, one of three Academy governors representing the Short Films and Animation Branch, sent a letter to his branch letting them know that Bryant would not be invited to join.

Although Bryant has expressed a desire to make more shorts, the Academy deemed the athlete to lack experience in the field.