Toy Story Director Lasseter Taking Leave Over 'Missteps'

Apologizes for unwanted hugs and gestures to those he has 'let down'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2017 4:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees. In a vaguely worded memo obtained by the AP on Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. He apologized to anyone who has received an unwanted hug or gesture and to those he has "let down." The Hollywood Reporter talks to insiders who say Lasseter is well-known for "grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”

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The website also reports that Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack left the Toy Story 4 project because Lasseter made an unwanted advance toward Jones. A Disney spokesperson says the company is committed to maintaining a respectful work environment and fully supports Lasseter's leave of absence. Lasseter is known for directing films like Toy Story and Cars and has produced every Pixar feature since Monsters, Inc. He has been the chief creative officer for Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios since 2006, overseeing hits like Frozen and Moana.

(Read more sexual harassment stories.)

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