John Lasseter Taking Leave of Absence From Pixar After ‘Missteps’

Disney Animation head John Lasseter told staff that he is taking a six-month leave of absence from Pixar on Tuesday, citing “painful” conversations, unspecified “missteps,” and feeling as though he has been “falling short” in ensuring that staff feel valued, The Hollywood Reporter reported. Lasseter, one of the Pixar co-founders, has become the face of Disney animation after taking over as chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. “I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion I want to be,” he wrote in a staff memo. “It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent. Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.” THR reported that Lasseter is known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” Rashida Jones, who is credited as a writer on Toy Story 4, left the project after he reportedly made unwanted advances towards her.