John Lasseter Lands at Animation Studio After Leaving Pixar Amid Reports of Sexual Harassment
John Lasseter, who left his spot as head of Pixar and Disney Animations in Nov. 2017 amid accusations of sexual harassment, will now lead Skydance Animation.
The move was announced by CEO David Ellison and comes just over a year after Lasseter, 61, announced his leave of absence to Pixar staff in a shocking memo that apologized for inappropriate behavior.
“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,” he wrote in the memo obtained by PEOPLE.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted a longtime Pixar employee at the time who said Lasseter was known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes” at the company during his employment there.
Lasseter directed Toy Story and Toy Story 2 among other Pixar films, and produced or executive produced every Pixar project.
Ellison announced that Lasseter will start at Skydance later this month and will be based in Los Angeles.
“John is a singular creative and executive talent whose impact on the animation industry cannot be overstated,” Ellison said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He was responsible for leading animation into the digital age, while telling incomparable stories that continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the globe.”
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The Time’s Up movement immediately criticized Lasseter’s new position in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, also adding that Lasseter had not done anything to account for his actions.
“Skydance Media’s decision to hire John Lasseter as head of animation endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence,” the statement said. “At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.”