The news that John Lasseter, former chief creative officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar and Disneytoon Studios, was hired to run Skydance Animation has been met with howls of protest.
Lasseter became the focus of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace as far back as November 2017. According to various media reports from that time, the allegations included misconduct with employees such as grabbing, kissing and making comments about their physical attributes. It was reported that Pixar had appointed minders to help him rein in his impulses.
“After a series of harassment claims were made against Lasseter, Bob Iger and Disney decided to part ways with him in late … 2018,” Deadline reports.
In a statement today about his hiring by Skydance, Time’s Up said:
“People often ask when a man who has abused his power ‘gets’ to ‘come back.’ There is no simple answer. But here are a few first steps:
“1) Demonstrate true remorse.
“2) Work deeply to reform your behavior.
“3) Deliver restitution to those you harmed.
“That’s the bare minimum.
“Hiring decisions have consequences. And offering a high-profile position to an abuser who has yet to do any of those things is condoning abuse.”
“The sentiment was echoed by other prominent Hollywood groups including Women In Film, Los Angeles and Women and Hollywood,” Deadline reports.
Skydance CEO David Ellison said in a statement: “Lasseter has been forthright in taking ownership of his behavior, apologized for his actions and has spent the past year on sabbatical analyzing and improving his workplace behavior.” He added that Skydance had “employed outside counsel to investigate the allegations.”
But Women in Film LA responded with a statement saying, in part: “What does this mean? For women in this industry to feel safe, we need more transparency than the above statement and we need to know what the company plans to do to ensure that safety. By saying Skydance has conducted an independent investigation and then proceeded to hire Lasseter, do they mean to suggest that they are hiring him in spite of the numerous accounts of women and colleagues? We do think that people can learn and change, and we look forward to men who model this, but true reparation requires transparency.”