Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter becomes the latest name involved with the ongoing revelations of Sexual misconduct in HollywoodThe number of sexual harassment and assault allegations currently rocking Hollywood continues to grow, following what is perhaps the largest uncovering of inappropriate conduct by Harvey Weinstein. Although there had been a number of smaller cases before the Weinstein revelation, the sheer scope of the Weinstein Company founder’s illicit behaviour towards women, and the bravery of his victims, has led to a change in the way that the industry thinks about sexism and sexual misconduct, which has in turn created a more open environment and seen more victims courageously speaking out about their traumatic experiences. As the volume of cases proceeds to increase, further big name players in the film world are being hit with damning allegations. The latest of which, surprisingly, is none other than Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter.
While The Weinstein Company’s reaction to the exposing of Weinstein’s behind-the-scenes behaviour was reflective of the shift in the Hollywood landscape, with the firm letting the 65-year-old go – something that may not have happened ten years ago – the company now finds itself in dire financial straits and is expected to declare bankruptcy sooner rather than later. Even Kevin Spacey, the face of Netflix’ hit TV show House of Cards, was removed following accusations of sexual assault which again demonstrates the new way these situations are being dealt with.
An article from THR is now confirming that Disney animation Head John Lasseter will be taking a leave of absence having revealed in a memo to colleagues that he had made some “missteps”. While the nature of said missteps was not explicitly stated, apparently enough information was provided to suggest that sexual misconduct was what Lasseter was talking about. THR further reports that it spoke with numerous Disney/Pixar employees to gain more insight into what may have gone on in order for Lasseter to make such a swift exit. These conversations supposedly brought to light that Rashida Jones and Will McCormack left as writers on Toy Story 4 after Lasseter had made uninvited advances on Jones, however, Jones has now spoken out denying that she stepped away from Toy Story 4 for these reasons. Still, one long-time colleague spilled that Lasseter’s ongoing inappropriate behaviour included “Grabbing, kissing” and “making comments about physical attributes”.
Lasseter has chosen to act of his own accord, communicating with Disney and its employees about his behaviour and choosing to take a six month sabbatical in order to deal with the situation he finds himself in, and, no doubt, to protect the company. Pixar has produced some of the worlds’ most-loved films and characters, and much of it due to the vision and hard work of Lasseter as its Head. Still, the truth must continue to come to light and, sadly, there are likely to be more allegations to come in the near future.