Disney’s John Lasseter, famed animator, to depart firm following ‘missteps’


Hollywood hit hard by sexual allegations

John Lasseter, one of many largest names in animation, can be leaving Disney on the finish of the yr, the corporate stated on Friday.

Lasseter, who was the chief inventive officer of Pixar and Disney Animation, took a go away of absence late final yr following what he described as “missteps” that made a few of his colleagues really feel “disrespected and uncomfortable.”

In an announcement, Disney (DIS) stated Lasseter will take over a consulting function by means of the tip of December earlier than formally severing ties with the corporate.

Lasseter, who has saved a low profile since leaving for sabbatical, stated in an announcement offered by Disney that the “final six months have offered a chance to replicate on my life, profession and private priorities.”

“Whereas I stay devoted to the artwork of animation and impressed by the inventive expertise at Pixar and Disney, I’ve determined the tip of this yr is the proper time to start specializing in new inventive challenges,” he stated. “I’m extraordinarily pleased with what two of a very powerful and prolific animation studios have achieved underneath my management and I am grateful for all the alternatives to observe my inventive ardour at Disney.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger described Lasseter’s tenure as “exceptional.”

“We’re profoundly grateful for his contributions, which included a masterful and memorable turnaround of The Walt Disney Animation Studios,” Iger stated.

In saying his go away of absence final November, Lasseter despatched a memo to Disney workers saying he hoped to take the time to look at his previous habits.

“It is by no means straightforward to face your missteps, but it surely’s the one option to be taught from them. Because of this, I have been giving a whole lot of thought to the chief I’m at present in comparison with the mentor, advocate and champion I need to be. It has been dropped at my consideration that I’ve made a few of you are feeling disrespected or uncomfortable. That was by no means my intent,” Lasseter stated within the memo.

Disney’s John Lasseter takes leave of absence, apologizes for unwanted gestures

Lasseter added that he wished apologize to “anybody who has ever been on the receiving finish of an undesirable hug or every other gesture they felt crossed the road in any approach, form, or type.”

Lasseter’s memo got here the identical day that The Hollywood Reporter published a story with the headline “John Lasseter’s sample of alleged misconduct detailed by Disney/Pixar insiders.”

The report quotes an unnamed Pixar worker as saying Lasseter had a status amongst workers “for grabbing, kissing, making feedback about bodily attributes.”

Lasseter couldn’t instantly be reached for additional touch upon Friday about his plans to depart Disney.

The accusations towards Lasseter got here as ladies and men around the globe spoke out publicly about inappropriate habits by highly effective males in Hollywood and different industries. Actions punctuated by hashtags similar to #MeToo got life after accusations surfaced towards former film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of abuse, misconduct and harassment by greater than 80 girls.

Lasseter is among the founders of the extremely profitable Pixar animation studio that has been behind movies, together with “Toy Story,” “Discovering Nemo” and “Inside Out.” Since its inception, Pixar has gone on to make greater than $11 billion on the worldwide field workplace and win a number of Academy Awards.

Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 in roughly a $7 billion deal that made Lasseter the chief inventive officer for the corporate’s two animation studios.

He was credited with a resurgence for Disney’s Animation, which has seen current hits like “Frozen” and “Moana.”

— CNNMoney’s Frank Pallotta contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (New York) First printed June 8, 2018: 7:22 PM ET

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