Disney, Pixar exec Lasseter takes leave of absence over allegations of misconduct

Joann Johnston
November 22, 2017

According to a leaked memo obtained Tuesday by The Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter allegedly emailed employees today to announce he's taking a six-month leave of absence from his post as Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, after making "missteps" and having "painful" conversations.

Multiple sources also told the Hollywood Reporter that Lasseter is known to drink heavily at company social events such as premiere parties, but another source says this behavior didn't just occur in such settings.

John Lasseter, the head of Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation has taken a leave of absence over allegations of misconduct towards employees.

Lasseter continues, "It's been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable".

"That was never my intent", Lasseter said. He apologized to anyone who has received an unwanted hug or gesture and to those he has "let down".

He acknowledged that his staff had the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected, "no matter how benign my intent".

SYFY WIRE has reached out to Disney for comment. He took charge of Walt Disney Animation in 2006 and lead a revival that included such very big hits as Frozen and Inside Out.

Toy Story, released in 1995 and co-written and directed by Lasseter, was the first feature length film animated entirely by computers.

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"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".

The Oscar-winning filmmaker and senior executive admitted he had been "falling short" in ensuring a culture of "trust and respect" at his animation studios. They said some women at Pixar knew to turn their heads quickly when greeting Mr. Lasseter to avoid his kisses, and that some pulled a move they dubbed "the Lasseter" to keep him from touching their legs, THR reported.

"She was bent over and (had her arm) across her thigh", the source was quoted as saying.

After that encounter, this employee asked the woman about what he had seen.

Afterward, she told the source: "It was deplorable for her to wear a skirt that day and on the off chance that she didn't have her hand alone right leg, his hand would have voyage".

The same source said he once noticed an oddly cropped photo of Lasseter standing between two women at a company function. "Do you know where his hands were?" I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together again in the new year.

The report said Lasseter had made "unwanted advances" on Jones, who is best known for the NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation and is credited as a writer on the upcoming "Toy Story 4".

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