Pixar and Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter is reportedly taking a 6-month leave of absence from Pixar amid harassment allegations made by studio insiders. Initially reported and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter wrote a staff memo apologizing for his actions and noting why he feels a leave of absence is the best course of action. Read the full staff memo after the break.
John Lasseter | Staff Memo
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.
In a sister story by The Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter has been accused of “grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes” of Pixar employees. These troubling accusations also include comments by actress and writer Roshida Jones that explain how Lasseter made an unwanted advance towards her. Jones and her writing partner Will McCormick are credited as screenwriters on Toy Story 4, the upcoming Pixar sequel set for release in 2019, which Lasseter stepped down as Director (announced during the D23 Expo 2017). Jones and McCormick left the project early on after the unwanted advancement was made.
Pixar is currently preparing for their wide-release of Coco, set to debut tonight and tomorrow, November 22nd.
This story is on-going; stay tuned for updates.
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