Kobe Bryant asked a serious question on The Jimmy Kimmel Show this week, “How do I provide more opportunities for even more diverse and new voices to be heard in this industry?”
Bryant expresses his feelings about having a greater sense of responsibility after his Academy Award win for Best Animated Short Film for his project Dear Basketball. The short film is based off Kobe Bryant’s poignant retirement letter published in the Players Tribune in 2015.
According to The Wrap, Kobe Bryant said to Jimmy Kimmel, “In the animation business, there’s a serious lack of diversity.”
Kimmel and Bryant didn’t however touch on an online petition to take Kobe Bryant’s Oscar award away.
More than 16,000 people have reportedly signed an online petition to revoke Bryant’s Oscar because the NBA star was accused of sexual assault in 2003.
“The Oscars almost avoided nominating sexual predators for awards,” the petition reads. “Woody Allen and James Franco didn’t get anything. But Kobe Bryant, who was charged with a horrific sexual assault, was nominated.”
The former Los Angeles Laker’s unexpected win shocked Kobe Bryant and he thanked his daughters in Italian while also throwing a little political shade saying:
“I don’t know if it’s possible, as basketball players we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said. “I’m glad we do a little bit more than that. Thank you, Academy, for this amazing honor. Thank you, John Williams for such a wonderful piece of music. Thank you, Verizon for believing in the film. Thank you, Molly Carter. Without you we wouldn’t be here and to my wife Vanessa and to our daughters Natalia, Gianna and Bianka … you are my inspiration.”
Bryant’s comment was directed at Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who recently told LeBron James to “Shut up and dribble,” in reaction to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ player voicing his political opinions.
The petitioners are hoping that with enough signatures Academy will reconsider Kobe Bryant’s win.