Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers icon, won an Animated Short Oscar in 2018 for Dear Basketball. The short film, revolving around an essay he wrote as he neared retirement from the NBA in 2016, was animated by Glen Keane and featured music by John Williams.
The Oscar ceremony annually features an In Memoriam segment devoted to those in the industry who have died in the past year. It’s unclear whether the Bryant mention will be part of that block or something else. Bryant is not a member of the Academy despite his Oscar win.
“We can confirm that Kobe Bryant will be acknowledged in the telecast,” the Academy said in a statement today.
On Monday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon began with a moment of silence for the victims of the helicopter crash, which occurred Sunday morning in Calabasas. Nine people in all were killed including Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13.
The tragedy has swept up the city where Bryant played his entire Hall of Fame-to-be career, beginning with several poignant moments that night during CBS’ Grammy Awards telecast. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all city flags lowered to half mast, and the Lakers-Clippers game scheduled for tonight at Staples Center was postponed.
Oscar producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain are in the midst of finalizing plans for the Oscar ceremony, which is going host-less for a second year in a row. It has been rolling out presenters for the past week or so, and last week said all five Original Song nominees will perform on the Dolby Theater stage.
The news of the Oscar plan was first revealed on the radio show The Sam Alex Show in an interview with Oscar announcer Randy Thomas.