BREAKING: John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence from PIXAR Amid Harassment Claims

BREAKING: John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence from PIXAR Amid Harassment Claims

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney Animation head John Lasseter is taking a leave of absence from Pixar after acknowledging “painful” conversations and unspecified “missteps”.

The following memo was sent out by Lasseter to employees at PIXAR:

I have always wanted our animation studios to be places where creators can explore their vision with the support and collaboration of other gifted animators and storytellers. This kind of creative culture takes constant vigilance to maintain. It’s built on trust and respect, and it becomes fragile if any members of the team don’t feel valued. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen; and I now believe I have been falling short in this regard.

I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them. As a result, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion I want to be. It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent. Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.

In my conversations with Disney, we are united in our commitment to always treat any concerns you have with the seriousness they deserve, and to address them in an appropriate manner. We also share a desire to reinforce the vibrant, respectful culture that has been the foundation of our studios’ success since the beginning. And we agree the first step in that direction is for me to take some time away to reflect on how to move forward from here. As hard as it is for me to step away from a job I am so passionate about and a team I hold in the highest regard, not just as artists but as people, I know it’s the best thing for all of us right now. My hope is that a six-month sabbatical will give me the opportunity to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.

I’m immensely proud of this team, and I know you will continue to wow the world in my absence. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together again in the new year.

John 

Rashida Jones is still credited as a writer on Toy Story 4, the next installment of the film series, but the actress and her writing partner at the time, Will McCormack, left the project early on after Lasseter made an unwanted advance. Jones and McCormack did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Disney declined to comment on the alleged incident, though a studio source said the departure was over “creative differences.”

Based on the accounts of former Pixar insiders as well as sources in the animation community, the alleged incident was not an isolated occurrence. One longtime Pixar employee says Lasseter, who is well-known for hugging employees and others in the entertainment community, was also known by insiders for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” Multiple sources say Lasseter is known to drink heavily at company social events such as premiere parties but this source says the behavior was not always confined to such settings.

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Melissa D Brown
Melissa D Brown
3 years ago

Well, crap.

Derek Zoolander
Derek Zoolander
3 years ago

Disney is hoping everyone forgets in 6 months, i predict hes fired within the week, as more stories come out.

rpmx33
rpmx33
3 years ago

Crap, indeed! You summed up my thoughts exactly and concisely. :'(

ToyStoryisoverrated
ToyStoryisoverrated
3 years ago

Rex – “Wh-Wh-what are we doing! I’m not prepared”

Does this mean we will stop having Toy Story rammed down our throats at the parks and might focus on other properties?

Mister_Rogers
Mister_Rogers
3 years ago

Great now they can cancel Pixar Pier because no one wants to visit a seedy neighborhood

Jones
Jones
3 years ago

Rashida Jones went on record refuting your claim. Will you please update this story with that information? http://deadline.com/2017/11/rashida-jones-claims-toy-story-4-john-lasseter-1202213672/

Mark Bolls
Mark Bolls
3 years ago

The dude is gay. If he tried that with me, he wouldn’t be getting back up after I knocked him down. I think this story is BS.

Olaf
Olaf
3 years ago

What’s wrong with a guy these days giving warm hugs?

Chris Hansen
Chris Hansen
3 years ago
Reply to  Olaf

Why don’t you take a seat?

Ron Howard
Ron Howard
3 years ago

Hey John, sit on it!