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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

UPDATE: Rashida Jones and Will McCormack left the following statement to EW, in light of the report:

“The breakneck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences. There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

It was only a matter of time before all the sexual misconduct accusations slit us in our jugulars. A new report from THR is stating that John Lasseter — the Disney Animation head, know for such beloved films as Toy Story — has taken a leave of absence from Pixar.

This comes on the heels of a staff memo from Lasseter, which stated:

“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. This kind of creative culture takes constant vigilance to maintain. It’s built on trust and respect, and it becomes fragile if any members of the team don’t feel valued. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen; and I now believe I have been falling short in this regard. I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them.”

So what are these missteps?

A follow-up report from the outlet, there has been a pattern in the filmmaker’s behavior over the years — a pattern that’s made more than a few employees uncomfortable. Most recently, actress and writer Rashida Jones was announced to be working on Toy Story 4, and while she is still credited as a writer, she reportedly left the project (along with co-writer Will McCormack) a long time ago due to an unwanted advance from Lasseter.

Other insiders say that Lasseter is known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” In an odd story, there was a photo of Lasseter with women that had to be oddly cropped due to where his hands were placed. And from the sound of it, his behavior was well known. Women at Pixar knew to turn their heads to avoid his kisses, and when hugging, he would allegedly whisper in their ears for a long time.

One specific story took place 15 years ago, and involved a woman seated next to Lasseter in a meeting.

“She was bent over and [had her arm] across her thigh. The best I can describe it is as a defensive posture … John had his hand on her knee, though, moving around.”

After that, the man asked the woman about what he had seen, and her response was that “it was unfortunate for her to wear a skirt that day and if she didn’t have her hand on her own right leg, his hand would have travelled.”

Now that this report has hit, we’re sure movements will come swiftly, but it is definitely a bit disturbing that an iconic figure in family filmmaking may not be nearly as wholesome as we all hoped.

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SOURCE: THR (1), (2)

  • Kratos

    wow. men having power and influence wielding both as leverage FOR YEARS AND YEARS to score some hot ass. imagine that. i’m shocked.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      I wish some rich and powerful woman would use her leverage to have her way with me. Gifts for my company and a fat payout when its done to keep me quiet. Just one question, how long is the wait?

      • chaburchak

        Yeah, it sounds wonderful until you realize you work for Joy Behar or Whoopie Goldberg. Yeesh…

        • Kindofabigdeal

          I had to google Joy Behar. I’d bang her for some pwesents.

          • chaburchak

            See if you can google her voice. Makes me want to stab myself in the ears…

        • randomironicname

          I was going to say the same but use Nancy Grace as an example! Behar v Grace, either one would be miserable.

        • Venomaide

          Oooooh whooopie is hot !!!

          • chaburchak

            Is that you, Ted Danson?

          • Venomaide

            Yes im black face ted danson.

  • Victor Roa

    Animation has the WORST history of mistreating female staff.
    Just reminded of art school teacher who would always give back rubs to female students. He would be flirty, do their work for them, give them an easy It’s something where he would do that right beside me and I’d actually say “Uh, can you help me too.” And he’d look at me with such disgust. It was something I worked hard to get his attention, work after hours, make sure I knew what I was talking about but then at the end of the semester I’d get a C, and the girls got an easy A. And it”s not like they liked it, they knew he was a total creeper “you should model for my class.” CLASSY!
    UGH, God, now I got mental images of Walt Disney back rubbing Mary Blaire on the Small World ride. BARF! TRAUMATIZED!!!

    • SeanDon

      Not surprised…for the longest time it was (and still kinda is) a male dominated profession (definitely for management). I hear similar stories from friends on development…if you’re a semi-attractive woman you’re going to just get undressed daily and treated like an object.

      • Victor Roa

        whats worse is you do need input on a project that isn’t just one sided. That’s the problem you see with video games, cartoons, comics and toys all looking the same. And all of this is one big team effort, so yeah it’s really bad if it’s just a dude’s club.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer’s always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he’s always been something of a story junkie.