The animation juggernaut has released a statement admitting his “missteps” and apologizing to anyone who may have been let down by his behavior.
There has been a number of movie producers and directors that have been accused for sexual harassment following the allegations towards Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. The media has called it the “Weinstein Domino Effect“. There’s X-Men director Brett Ratner, Justice League’s Ben “The Groper” Affleck, and Kevin Spacey. But none more shocking than the collective accusations made towards Pixar co-founder and chief creative officer, John Lasseter, who is known for his friendly public image.
In a detailed article by Vanity Fair, former and current Pixar/Disney employees have shared their stories about the inappropriate behavior by their boss throughout the years. One former male employee describes being forced to take him to a strip club and found the experience ‘uncomfortable’. An alleged incident about Lasseter french kissing and fondling a now former Disney employee at a 2010 Oscar ceremony was discussed in a phone call by Ed Catmull, Andrew Millstein, and Zenia Mucha – three of Disney/Pixar executives.
“The subject of the phone call was, ‘Shit, what are we going to do about John?,’” one person who was on the call told Vanity Fair. “Lasseter is the crazy-horny 13-year-old who you have to keep in check all the time. But there’s no No. 2 for John. He’s the beating heart of Disney Animation and Pixar. He’s a genius. Nobody can do what he does.”
His behavior has ultimately built a whisper network among Disney/Pixar employees. Artists and other workers warning each other about their boss, especially to young women employees.
Because of the Weinstein domino effect, John Lasseter is finally outed as a Hollywood creep. There is a rumor going on that Rashida Jones (along with her writing partner Will McCormack) left Toy Story 4 because of unwanted advances from Lasseter. However, the writer/actress denied the rumor. She and McCormack released a statement to NYtimes, explaining the reasons are due to the studio’s treatment of women and people of color in general.
Lasseter has released a statement admitting his missteps and apologizing to anyone who may have been let down by his behavior. Disney/Pixar has agreed to grant a six-month sabbatical to the executive.