Kobe Bryant won an Oscar Sunday night -- and Twitter has feelings about that.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers great took home the Best Animated Short Film Oscar for “Dear Basketball,” based on a poem he penned in 2015.
“As basketball players, we’re really supposed to ‘shut up and dribble,’ ” Bryant said as he accepted the Oscar, taking a swipe at Fox News talking head Laura Ingraham. “But I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.”
Several NBA players and former players, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Magic Johnson, and Shaq, congratulated Bryant on his Academy Award win.
“Salute @kobebryant on that Oscar!! #WeAreMoreThanShutUpDribble #UJustContinueToSitBackAndWatch,” James posted on Twitter.
“Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol,” Shaq tweeted.
Not everyone was so effusive. USA Today’s Maeve McDermott called Bryant’s win a tragedy, noting that in 2003 he was arrested for sexual assault. (The case was later dropped and a civil suit was settled out of court.) In a year when sexual harassment and assault allegations have rocked Hollywood, and when #MeToo and #TimesUp became a rallying cry across the country, Bryant’s win struck some as particularly tone deaf.
Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, which advocates for diversity in film, was repelled by the enthusiastic response to Bryant’s win Sunday night.
“Kobe Bryant gets the biggest cheer for coming into the interview room. GROSS #Complicit #oscars,” she tweeted.
Others pointed out that Bryant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and 18-time NBA All Star, now has an award that continues to elude a stunning list of high-profile actors and directors.
“KOBE BRYANT HAS AN OSCAR. AND STANLEY KUBRICK DOES NOT. L to the O to the L,” tweeted Wesley Morris of the New York Times.
KOBE BRYANT HAS AN OSCAR. AND STANLEY KUBRICK DOES NOT. L to the O to the L.— Wesley Morris (@Wesley_Morris) March 5, 2018
Sopan Deb, also of the New York Times, tweeted that a few of the other Hollywood heavyweights still without an Oscar include Bill Murray (one-time Oscar nominee), Sigourney Weaver (three-time nominee), Robert Downey Jr. (two-time nominee), and Christopher Nolan (nominated this season for “Dunkirk.”)
Hayley Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com.