John Lasseter Leaving Disney Forever After ‘Missteps’

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.

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.

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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