Hollywood is trying to change - but will audiences let it?
How did you feel when you read the news about John Lasseter
I've heard this many times over the past month, but if 2016 was the year when so many celebrities we loved died, then 2017 is the year when our love for so many celebrities died. That love dies in may ways: in anger, sadness, apathy or remorse. I've seen Disney fans react in all those ways, and more.
I don't have any more details about how John Lasseter has behaved off camera over the past decades than what I have read in the Hollywood trade reports. Whatever happened, he has stepped aside. That might cause some Disney fans to mourn whatever loss that causes the company — whatever projects will not be advanced due to Lasseter not being there to contribute to them. That's a natural reaction when someone seemingly in the prime of his career loses his ability to work — for whatever reason.
But I think we miss an important part of the picture when we focus only on the loss of artists alleged to have intimidated, harassed, or abused others. Shouldn't we also lament the loss of work from people who have been intimidated, harassed, or abused?
What great creative visions never made it to the screen because someone didn't want to work in a noxious environment and could not find another path forward to getting their work produced? How much work suffered because artists in a harassing environment were thinking about that harassment instead of allowing their mind to flow freely toward inspiration? How many careers were lost because people who had the courage to speak up were shut down and shown out, instead? This isn't just about Disney and Pixar — it affects every single major creative business in the entertainment industry, including many more artists and managers whose bad behavior has yet to hit the news.
But this doesn't have to be a story about loss. We have an opportunity to hear some new creative voices now, as established ones either step or are cast aside. Stories that were not, or could not, be told under the old leadership in this industry might find a path forward now.
How wonderful was it 20-some years ago when Pixar started making movies? That was a fresh voice that no one knew we needed until we got the chance to hear and see it. If nature abhors a vacuum, new leaders will step forward to bring us movies, TV shows, books, and music that we will come to adore.
Like many other fans, I loved the work that John Lasseter did. It's still good work, IMHO. Yes, it's easier to divorce a creative work from its creator when that artist worked behind the camera. It's not like Lasseter was Louis C.K., working stand-up about his, uh, love life — bits that are just too difficult to watch, much less laugh at, now that the rumors about his misbehavior have been confirmed. Toy Story and Cars can stand up in large part because they reflect the work on hundreds of other people in addition to John Lasseter.
Now some of those people have another opportunity to step forward and assume greater creative leadership at Disney and Pixar. Maybe others, outside Disney and Pixar, now might see a fresh opportunity to challenge what had been that seemingly dominant combination. Even more important, maybe we will take this opportunity, as consumers of creative media, to look for some fresh new voices in entertainment.
I have been blessed to have been introduced through my children to some amazing young artists, working in film, music, writing, and visual arts. Do not worry about the loss of creative leaders, for there is waiting a new generation of artists to show us amazing work.
But it is up to us to be open to those new voices. It is up to us to be to open to hearing new artists who do not look, speak, act, or make us think the same was as previous generation of artists did.
Hollywood is changing. And that can be wonderful. But I hope that we do not forget to do what we can, as an audience, to make that change be for the better.
Update: TL;DR - Power enables people to harass and abuse others. In Hollywood, audience loyalty provides a main source of that power. (In politics, power comes from electoral and partisan loyalty.) If we, as consumers (and voters), withhold loyalty and remain open to alternatives, we can deny the power that others use to abuse.
It's hard. Sarah Silverman just did a nice thing on Louis CK and how "a man I've counted as a friend for 20 years is everything I hate." I loved Kevin Spacey and his movies ("Usual Suspects" one of my favorites) but now marred by what he's done. It's just rough to see these men as not just flawed but truly wicked and makes it harder to judge their past works.
Does your judgement of their work have to be colored by who they are as people? We separate that with the Founding Fathers. They owned people, but they also had some pretty good ideas about the basis of a nation. So many corporate CEOs are abominable humans, but their business creations feed and clothe employees and their families. I don't have an answer, really. I'm just asking the question. Bad people can do good things. We have to figure out how to reconcile that.
I think its going to be a case of they'll take a few years out as "Puishment" then they'll be back "reformed".
How come no one cared about this, when the motion pic industry gave roman polanksi an academy award. it was just a few years ago. Polanski was convicted. Yes. convicted, of child rape. Under a united states court of law with full due process. The united states gov, have seeked to bring him to justice, under both republican and democratic governments. No cooperation from the liberal European democracy, where he has lived for 20 or 25 years. why is the media, not shaming both the academy and that European government??????
Lasseter being forced out is a net loss for all of us. The cream rises to the top. Exceptional talents are exceptional and cannot be replaced with mediocrities who live puritanical lives. I haven't read what Lasseter has done, but I can't help wondering why these issues have not been brought to a court of law if there is any merit to them.
The title makes little sense. Hollywood hasn’t changed. It’s secrets are kept from the public. It’s pure hypocrisy. The audiences can’t do anything except boycott their increasingly strident leftist propaganda dressed up as movies. When their leaders are engaged in sexual harassment, rape, and the degradation of women and children, it’s contrary to what they claim they are. They project. They point their fingers at others when they refuse to notice their own secrets. Audiences can either continue to allow their patronage or stop going.
I wrote all I needed to about Lasseter already. I'm just disappointed some here have turned this into a political debate when we've seen from the past month that this is a problem that affects ALL walks of life.
Focus Pictures, which is owned and basically part of universal studios, bankrolled roman Polanski's, movie the Pianist. Which won an Oscar, by the motion picture industry and the Hollywood/actors directors, writers, producers. google roman Polanski and rape. He was convicted, in a united states court and ran away from the charges. He is still a fugitive of the law.
Chad H. I am very sorry to inform you, that you are guilty of racism, by assuming that Mr. Polanski lives in Poland, I was guess due to his ethnic name.
Please if you are going to debate issues like this get your facts right.
I think the hard question that nobody is asking is where do we go from here? Does John Lasseter need to go away for good? Is there anything he can do, or anybody else for that matter, to obtain forgiveness? On the surface, Lasseter did give opportunity to thousands of people and lead the team for some of the greatest animation work since Walt Disney.
David Brown---I got the french age of consent from the USA newspaper. Published yesterday. One of the most liberal papers, in the nation. So. If they are wrong (I will trust you, that they are), you can blame them.
Chad H--How is it immaterial, where he lives? That is where you have to get extradition. Based on your info and mine. And, that he has joint french and polish citizenship, the US would likely need to get extradition from both countries. As, if you get it from one, he will simply catch a plane to the other.
Disney probably can't afford the bad PR from Lasseter's actions, they need to protect their family image, so he's probably gone for good.
They should out a John Lasseter AA in Pirates of the Caribbean auction scene!
They should put a John Lasseter AA in the Pirates of the Caribbean auction scene!
All we can say is we can admire the person for who he is due to his work, not that he turned out to be.
Pixar are in a fortunate position having nurtured brilliant talent from the onset and have Brad Bird, Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich in their ranks so a temporary or permanent leader is in the wings, waiting for that opportunity. However, with Disney playing the PC card at every opportunity these days don't be surprised if Darla Anderson jumps to the top of the list.
If you're going to get political, be prepared to back it up with facts. Polanski has French citizenship, and lives there mostly. The US has attempted to extradite him from there in the past, and was declined. This was not because its a "liberal European democracy", it is because France like many other countries does not extradite their own citizens. The "liberal" public support his extradition (60-70% do), but they never extradite their own. This is not a "liberal" law they apply on a case by case basis.
>>>Chad H.--I relied on a very long wikipedia article, that indeed said that he had left poland, in his twenties sometime. In the past, I have found wikipedia to be more accurate, than newspapers.
so glad you ruined this discussion!
Trying to get us back on topic here.....
If fox is smart, they will start an animation division, and hire lasseter to run it. Last time, disney fired lasseter (when he was a young animator), it cost them huge bucks, to buy the company he worked for an get him back.
I genuinely thought we could have a dignified conversation here. However, I was wrong. Thank you, Robert, for starting the conversation. The rest of us - let's attempt to actually contribute to the dialogue instead of continuing to call each other racists. Sheesh.
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