John Lasseter Leaving Disney Forever After ‘Missteps’

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John Lasseter
John Lasseter

Pixar co-founder John Lasseter is reportedly leaving Disney forever after allegations that his tendency to show physical affection toward his co-coworkers has crossed a few boundaries.

From The New York Times

Disney said on Friday that Mr. Lasseter — the creative force behind the billion-dollar “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “Frozen” franchises — would take on a consulting role at the company until the end of the year and then leave permanently. He will not have an office in the interim.

Lasseter took a six month sabbatical following complaints about his well-known tendancy to be a little “touchy feely” with co-workers.

This behavior reportedly crossed a few lines, as The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Lasseter’s behavior went beyond hugs and involved “grabbing, kissing and making comments about physical attributes” as recurring behavior by Lasseter in meetings and at work events.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger made a statement addressing Lasseter’s exit, but did not give a reason why.

Mr. Iger instead emphasized Mr. Lasseter’s achievements, crediting him with “reinventing the animation business, taking breathtaking risks and telling original, high-quality stories that will last forever.” Mr. Iger also said that Mr. Lasseter was leaving behind “a team of great storytellers and innovators.”

There is word of a sharp division within Disney as to whether or not Lasseter should’ve been allowed to stay. There’s no denying how instrumental he was in putting Disney Animation back on top after a prolonged slump. His contributions to the company can’t be minimized.

However, the allegations came out as many prominent men in Hollywood were being outed for sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

A #LoseLasseter hashtag was started on Twitter.

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Actress and writer Rashida Jones, one of the most prominent voices calling for Lasseter’s firing, said she had to leave Pixar due to Lasseter’s conduct and Pixar’s culture.

“There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films,” Ms. Jones and her writing partner, Will McCormack, said in a statement at the time. “However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”

Jennifer Lee, director of Frozen and one of John Lasseter’s hires, and Pixar alum Pete Doctor are reportedly taking over for John Lasseter after the end of the year.

[Source: The New York Times]

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I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Is his replacement the same Jennifer Lee who gutted “A Wrinkle In Time” to satisfy Oprah’s demands for no Christian references in the script? The two of them destroyed the movie by erasing half the story, and it wound up a box-office bomb. Lee should have already been FIRED, not promoted to fill the shoes of a genius like John Lasseter!

    • It’s the same Jennifer Lee, yes. She wrote and co-directed ‘Frozen’ so she’s made Disney a ton of money. Lee will reportedly be the Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

      ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was just… poorly thought out all the way around. It felt like it was a movie made by committee, not by people who loved the original novel.

      Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out) will take over as Chief Creative Officer at Pixar.

      Lasseter’s contribution to Disney rising to the top of the animated film industry once again cannot be understated. Such a shame to see his career end like this. 🙁

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