Kobe Bryant, who shared an Oscar this year with Glen Keane for the animated short Dear Basketball, will not be allowed to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. A select group of Academy members were informed of the decision yesterday in a letter from Bill Kroyer, one of the governors of the Short Films and Animation Branch.
Per Academy tradition, people who are nominated for an Academy Award, and especially those who win their category, are often offered an invitation to join the Academy branch representing their craft. While all winners and nominees are considered for membership, they are not guaranteed an invite. For example, Marc Sondheimer, the producer of Pixar’s Oscar-winning Piper, was not given an invitation, and neither was the singer Adele after she won an Oscar for best original song for Skyfall.
In Bryant’s case, the Short Films and Feature Animation branch followed tradition and voted to admit Bryant into their branch. In a rare move, however, the Governors Committee of the Academy overruled the Short Films & Animation branch, voting to rescind Bryant’s invitation.