Pixar head John Lasseter takes leave of absence amid sexual misconduct allegations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2017
John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Disney Animation Studios and close friend of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is taking a six-month leave of absence after allegations of inappropriate behavior toward female co-workers.




Lasseter announced the time off in a vaguely worded internal memo to employees obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. Though the letter does not mention sexual misconduct, a second report from the publication details specific incidents from women who received unwanted advances from the Pixar chief.

Of note, actress Rashida Jones, credited as a writer on Toy Story 4, left the as-yet-unreleased project due to Lasseter's actions.

"I've recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me," Lasseter writes. "It's never easy to face your missteps, but it's the only way to learn from them."

According to unnamed Pixar employees, Lasseter is "well-known" for hugging employees and others in the entertainment industry. Other actions are less innocuous and include "grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes," the report said.

Some Pixar employees took defensive measures to steer clear Lasseter's advances, from turning their head to avoid kisses to performing a move dubbed "the Lasseter" that prevented the executive from placing his hands on their legs.

The recipient of two Oscars, Lasseter is perhaps best known as a co-founder of Pixar, a computer animation studio that started life as part of Lucasfilm. With funding from Steve Jobs, who later served as Pixar's CEO in 2004, the company splintered off into its own entity and went on to produce critically acclaimed films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo.

Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 in a deal that netted Jobs about $4 billion as Pixar's majority shareholder. After finding success on its own and at Disney, Pixar in 2012 acknowledged Jobs' influence by dedicating its main office building to the late tech guru.

In 2011, Lasseter penned a "Fond Farewell" to Jobs as part of Time's annual "Person of the Year" issue. The animation studio executive said he thought of Jobs almost as a brother, and told a story about how Jobs asked for his approval to go back to Apple after NeXT was bought out.

Lasseter plans to return to work in six months 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."

Editor's note: Due to its political nature, comments for this article have been closed.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Only in the U.S. men are guilty until proven innocent... actually never innocent. If the roles were reversed they would tell him to "man up" or call him "lucky". Being at the top of the latter gets you plenty of female attention remember that.


    Good luck buddy! Hope your ok.

    Would hate if this guy was fired because of allegations of if he commited suicide or something. Hope he's ok!
    Being at the top of the ladder will have m
    magman1979tallest skilpichael
  • Reply 2 of 9
    He's lucky to have the means to take six months off work for personal reflection. Many women who quit a job to avoid sexual harassment don't have that luxury.

    That said, this is sad news. John Lasseter has put a lot of love into the world with those Pixar films and I would have hoped he'd be above such behavior.
    edited November 2017 paxmanspinnydleavingthebiggbsimpsenhumanaftera11ronnaylkdysamoriastanthemanStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 9
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,495member
    You posted a very creepy photo of him. Was that intentional?
    Eric_WVGGtallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 9
    arlomedia said:
    He's lucky to have the means to take six months off work for personal reflection. Many women who quit a job to avoid sexual harassment don't have that luxury.
    They have the luxury of ruining man's lives via rape/harassment accusations without introducing a single piece of evidence, and still expect to be believed. So, there is that.
    edited November 2017 magman1979spinnydtallest skilhumanaftera11cali[Deleted User]lukeipichaelmonstrositywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,616member
    cali said:
    Only in the U.S. men are guilty until proven innocent... actually never innocent. If the roles were reversed they would tell him to "man up" or call him "lucky". Being at the top of the latter gets you plenty of female attention remember that.

    Good luck buddy! Hope your ok.

    Would hate if this guy was fired because of allegations of if he commited suicide or something. Hope he's ok!
    Being at the top of the ladder will have m
    You are confused, old man. Only in the USA (and everywhere else in the world) is a woman treated like the perpetrator if she accuses a man of sexual misconduct. It is only in the very very recent past that women have been at all listened to in this regard. People in position of power that abuse that power deserve everything that's coming at them. The fact that for men in positions of power that often includes sexual abuse just makes it so much worse. It is wrong and is disgusting no matter who it is. 
    tmayauxiomr. hexsangusbsimpsenhumanaftera11montrosemacsronnaylkmdriftmeyer
  • Reply 6 of 9
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,616member
    arlomedia said:
    He's lucky to have the means to take six months off work for personal reflection. Many women who quit a job to avoid sexual harassment don't have that luxury.
    They have the luxury of ruining man's lives via rape/harassment accusations without introducing a single piece of evidence, and still expect to be believed. So, there is that.
    Yeah, because lets assume women want to step into the limelight and falsely accuse men of rape in order to ruin their lives. This is the most lame assed assumption going.
    tmayauxiomr. hexsangusbsimpsenhumanaftera11montrosemacsarlomediaronnaylk
  • Reply 7 of 9
    cali said:
    Only in the U.S. men are guilty until proven innocent... actually never innocent. If the roles were reversed they would tell him to "man up" or call him "lucky". Being at the top of the latter gets you plenty of female attention remember that.


    Good luck buddy! Hope your ok.

    Would hate if this guy was fired because of allegations of if he commited suicide or something. Hope he's ok!
    Being at the top of the ladder will have m
    Not sure what world you’re living in. But it’s the first time we’re finally at a time we’re women’s sexual harassment complaints are taken seriously..but nooo..there’s always that guy who would defend a sexual harasser and give the least benefit of a doubt to women. People like you are exactly why many women are afraid to come out. Cut the BS buddy, you know these happens all the time, you’ve probably seen it and just chuck it up to a man being a man, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve harassed women.
    edited November 2017 tmayexsangusbsimpsenhumanaftera11montrosemacsronnaylkelectrosoftdysamoriaStrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 9
    I rarely send my two cents out into the internet on these types of hot-button political issues (why aren't comments closed on this post, btw?) because the internet is full of trolls, but at any rate, here is mine. There is no war on men, especially white men. Just because we (white men) can't just take whatever we want anymore, doesn't mean the world is suddenly conspiring to get us. Glad to see most folks commenting here are living in a post 1950's world, where women get to be people, too. I think that even just ten years ago, most people posting on this article would have been making those "guilty first" statements like Cali did. Makes me think the world is getting to be a better place to live, even if it doesn't always feel like it is.
    edited November 2017 tmaychasmbsimpsenhumanaftera11montrosemacsarlomediaronnaylkelectrosoftanton zuykov
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Cue the Woody jokes. Seriously though, there needs to be a trial before this sort of information is released.
This discussion has been closed.