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Lasseter out at Disney - at least for now - following 'missteps'

November 21, 2017, 1:35 PM · It appears that the chief creative officer for Disney Animation and Pixar is the latest to be caught by the Hollywood harassment backlash.

John Lasseter announced in a memo to staff today that he is taking a six-month "sabbatical" following "difficult conversations" that made clear that Lasseter "made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable."

The Hollywood Reporter has the full memo.

In addition to serving directly under Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios President Edwin Catmull, Lasseter is designated the Principal Creative Adviser for Walt Disney Imagineering, reporting to WDI President Bob Weis. A two-time Academy Award winner, Lasseter directed the first two Toy Story movies, the first two Cars movies, and A Bug's Life for Pixar. He also participated in the development of Cars Land for Disney California Adventure.

Replies (3)

November 21, 2017 at 6:45 PM · I’m utterly devastated with this news. Lasseter always seemed like the closest thing us Millennials had to having a Walt Disney alive in our time. :(
November 22, 2017 at 9:38 AM · Rashida Jones and her writing partner stepped up and said that this definitely was not the reason they stepped away from Toy Story 4. It honestly sounds like he's just an over affectionate guy. I predict he'll get some corporate sexual harassment training and be back to work after the sabbatical.
November 26, 2017 at 2:50 PM · While none of us know the details I would like to reflect here not only as a producer but a director of live action and animation as well.
I worked for a company for 8 long years where I was propositioned every day by a fellow employee. I laughed it off. Nothing came of the advances and it didn't damage me emotionally or physically. Hey, people are people. We're all human.
On the reverse, women came to casting session dressed in ways that are downright embarrassing. Some even sitting naked under their too-short skirts. All very talented people. All very pretty in face.
I am not suggesting that any predatory man not be accountable for his actions. But life is a two way street. Hey, if you're a cashier the money in your trust looks good but you don't take it home. But some people have forgotten how to handle that money; you don't fondle it..put it where it belongs and don't touch it.
Now-then, all films, animation and live-action films, are made under great stress. Stress is part of the creative process. We all deal with emotions on and off the set. When someone "gets it" as a director I am overjoyed. Yes, that actor, man or woman, deserves a hug. Films are a string of "moments". When you get a really good moment its like a gift from heaven...because it "just worked". Think of Gone With The Wind as that beautiful Hatty McDaniel sobbed climbing the stairs. It moves audiences to this day.
Can you imagine the release of stress when the director yelled "CUT!"? Hugs, pats on the back, kissing someone's cheek is NOT sexual harassment, guys. Grow up. There are millions and millions of dollars resting on the shoulders of every director and producer. Moreso on John Lasseter. For him there is a legacy that is bigger than any of us can imagine. He deserves our utmost respect and consideration. Hey, he can hug me all he wants. i would be proud to receive his appreciation no matter how expressed.
And just about anyone would, except those who don't or can't understand or want more attention than they are worthy of. I am sorry for this because like Walt, whose relationship with his entire staff changed after the union strike in 1941, John Lasseters' relationship will also change in much the same way. Walt survived and so will John. But it will NEVER be the same. No one will ever get that close to him again.

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