Emma Thompson did not hold back when it came to explaining her reasoning for pulling out of the Skydance Animations movie Luck, BuzzFeed News is reporting. The actress, who has won two Oscars for her work, immediately began the process of quitting the film upon learning that Pixar co-founder John Lasseter was being brought on to work on the project. Lasseter has a history of working on successful animated movies, having co-written and directed the first Toy Story film. The filmmaker stepped down from his position at Pixar in 2017 after sexual misconduct allegations made against him began to pile up.
“It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate,” Thompson wrote in a letter to Skydance Animations that was later published in The Los Angeles Times on February 26.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter has been accused of “grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes.” Multiple sources from Pixar who asked to remain anonymous shared that Lasseter had a history of inappropriate behavior. Women that encountered the moviemaker allegedly knew to move their heads when Lasseter hugged them to avoid a kiss, and that there was even a move developed called “The Lasseter” that prevented him from putting his hands on their legs.
Lasseter was named the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio in 2006, and it was rumored that his behavior went unchecked for years due to the success he was bringing the companies. After the Me Too movement that addressed sexual assault in the entertainment industry took off, however, Lasseter’s conduct was brought to the forefront.
Lasseter has since apologized for his actions and appears to be eager to prove to studios that he has changed. Last month, Skydance Animations held a town hall session where employees could ask Lasseter questions directly after he was hired to work on the film Luck. The meeting allegedly had a “heavy” tone. While some employees agreed to work alongside Lasseter, Thompson felt it was her duty speak out.
“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘Professionally’?” Thompson wrote in her letter.
Skydance has so far denied requests for comment from multiple news outlets.