John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence From Disney-Pixar After Alleged Misconduct, Admitting ‘Missteps’

The list of public figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct continues to grow with almost every passing day, and now, it has made its way to one of Disney and Pixar’s most prominent figures. John Lasseter, the head of Disney Animation, is taking a leave of absence after accusations of misconduct have been made against him.

Lasseter has chosen to take a leave of absence from Disney and Pixar after he has acknowledged “painful” conversations with employees as well as “missteps,” which were not specified. The memo was written to the Disney-Pixar staff and acquired by the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

THR was actually working on a report detailing the alleged misconduct by Lasseter when the memo written directly by him was received.

“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…. It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent.”

John Lasseter is one of the known founders of Pixar and has been the chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios since 2006.

A spokesman for Disney released a statement that was acquired by the Los Angeles Times in which they speak of wanting to keep a safe working environment for all employees. Disney also said they support the leave of absence taken by Lasseter.

“We are committed to maintaining an environment in which all employees are respected and empowered to do their best work. We appreciate John’s candor and sincere apology and fully support his sabbatical.”

Another report from the Hollywood Reporter has one Pixar employee saying that he was known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”

Rashida Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones, was writing the script for Toy Story 4 with writing partner Will McCormack, but she left the project early on. Jones reportedly left Toy Story 4 after Lasseter made an “unwanted advance” toward her.

As his memo to the Disney-Pixar staff details, his “missteps” were not just one occurrence. A number of sources claim Lasseter liked to drink heavily at events held by Disney and that contributed to the misconduct, but it wasn’t the only time it happened.

There were numerous accusations made against Lasseter, including one source that told THR about an oddly cropped photo of the Disney Animation chair positioned between two women.

When asked why it was cropped so strangely, one person said, “We had to crop it. Do you know where his hands were?”

For now, John Lasseter is taking a leave of absence from Disney-Pixar, and it is known to be for at least six months. Disney is in full support of his stepping away, but it is not known what kind of further damage this misconduct could bring to him or the company. Pixar has a number of movie projects in the works and even a huge Pixar Fest set for Disneyland in 2018, but much of it will take place without John Lasseter anywhere near it.

[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]