Today, Disney announced that Lasseter will be leaving Disney on a sabbatical for 6 months. Exactly what for is unknown, but in an email sent to employees at one of Disney’s animation studios (unspecified if it was Pixar, WDAS, or both), he said that he has given “unwanted hugs or other gestures they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form”, according to The NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/business/media/john-lasseter-pixar-disney-leave.html

The Hollywood Reporter says that he made some sexual advances towards employees, including Toy Story 4 writer Rashida Jones (leading to her and Will McCormick leaving the project). Females at Pixar had to turn their heads to avoid kisses and has to create a “Lasseter move” when he put his hand on their legs. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-lasseters-pattern-alleged-misconduct-detailed-by-disney-pixar-insiders-1059594

Unfortunately, this is part of a current Hollywood trend of famous actors, directors, and executives being accused of sexual assaults.
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PixarsBiggestFan wrote: Today, Disney announced that Lasseter will be leaving Disney on a sabbatical for 6 months. Exactly what for is unknown, but in an email sent to employees at one of Disney’s animation studios (unspecified if it was Pixar, WDAS, or both), he said that he has given “unwanted hugs or other gestures they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form”, according to The NY Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/business/media/john-lasseter-pixar-disney-leave.html The Hollywood Reporter says that he made some sexual advances towards employees, including Toy Story 4 writer Rashida Jones (leading to her and Will McCormick leaving the project). Females at Pixar had to turn their heads to avoid kisses and has to create a “Lasseter move” when he put his hand on their legs. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-lasseters-pattern-alleged-misconduct-detailed-by-disney-pixar-insiders-1059594 Unfortunately, this is part of a current Hollywood trend of famous actors, directors, and executives being accused of sexual assaults.

This is just sad (and by the time the next decade passes, Hollywood will cease to exist all because of this #MeToo stuff that keeps popping up).

Now we have a VERY good reason why Toy Story 4 got delayed, it was because of Lasseter's allegations.

Now I'm really scared for Incredibles 2, this incident will likely tarnish the reputation of the series forever going forward.

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Sad, sad news. John Lassetter always did give me minor "creep" vibes sometimes. 

I really don't think this will affect Pixar's reputation or Incredibles 2 as I think sometimes people overestimate how much John Lassetter is involved, Incredibles 2 is a Brad Bird film. 
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Just based on initial reports, I think there’s definitely a solid possibility that this might affect Pixar’s upcoming films, including Incredibles 2, in several ways.

Firstly and most obviously, Lasseter being absent for six months is likely going to have a big impact on the day-to-day operations of both Pixar and WDAS, or at least the jobs he did as CCO. I’ve always long suspected that his partial removal from Pixar to help run WDAS helped spur Pixar’s decline in quality in the 2010s, and if that is true this doesn’t bode well for any of the films both studios have in development.

Secondly, his behavior has clearly been complicating Toy Story 4 and causing delays. In fact, those delays pushed up the releases for Cars 3 and Incredibles 2 — this is not good for the latter two since they then have less time to refine the story before animating it. Although the involvement of Jones and McCormack is limited to just that one film, the production troubles in Toy Story 4 have already made release dates inflexible for the other two sequels.

Lastly, Jones’ and McCormack’s statement to the New York Times about Pixar’s systemic marginalization of women and people of color was very, very interesting. Pixar’s aversion to women has been well known, especially after what happened with Brenda Chapman, but I didn’t realize it extended to POC as well (though looking back at Pixar’s films’ characters, and the utter lack of POC in directing roles other than Pete Sohn, that makes more sense now). Pixar’s internal social dynamics have been kept very opaque so this glimpse of what it’s like there is definitely worth exploring.

And lastly, it’s worth noting how male-dominated both Coco and the Incredibles 2 teaser are. It’s great for artists to channel themselves, but if Pixar cannot diversify and become as progressive as, say, WDAS, then it might either get left behind chasing a formula for success no longer works as well in today’s climate, or it’ll simply be punished (relatively at least) at the box office. This is a topic that has numerous nuances that I’ve glanced over though, but worth tying in given the new revelations about Pixar’s work environment.

Other potential factors at play: the allegations against Lasseter and their impact on Pixar’s brand, to audiences, Oscar voters, and to potential new employees; Lasseter’s absence on the awards circuit this year, and the impact of that on Coco’s Oscar chances; will Disney start considering replacing Lasseter permanently if his 6-month break doesn’t work out?

Anyway, just some quick initial thoughts. If Disney handles it right they could probably get through this, but I definitely see potential for this to develop way further depending on news to come.

EDIT: just after I posted this, I came across a CB article on how Pixar is in chaos right now and there’s a rumor going around that Pete Docter is going to take over as chief creative officer. However, I think I’ll need to digest this in the morning before commenting further

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What is going on in the media industry these days? 

Recently it's been a huge subject about actors, directors and etc. But this is just sad and feels like there's dark holes for anyone in the industry. What happened when you finally realised that Sausage Party's animators were uncredited and not given their salary was a scandal. The Emoji Movie had animators forced to work on a awful script and make it as visually appealing as they could. Guess some did it for their pay check but still for a aspiring youth around the world looking up to these studios as greats, this is very disappointing. And not to mention the scandal that is Illumination Entertainment that produces cheap movies with little care for art or story. I bet that Sing tried to rip off Zootopia's success a reason for why they marketed the trailer when Zootopia was released.

But then there was also that scandal at Disney with Zootopia. In production, the development got so intense at a point that some workers were close to drop the production due to offensive commentaries for the movie's focus on bias and prejudice. Something that was really hard to hear from Disney. A company that has released so many good movies over the years with mostly good morals. 

Now reading this with Lassetter is really discouraging and just plainly disappointing on so many levels. I once saw him in person at convention and I could tell that they guy is a businessman that cares about making every movie special to earn his munny, something that turned me off from liking him as I used to when he made Cars in 2006. He seemed like he was afraid to admit flaws in his recent films. Flaws are important in order to improve after all. But despite all of that he didn't seem like such a bad guy when he interacted with the audience. Yes he gave many hugs but that I don't mind to be honest, I like people that give hugs. The other issues though about kissing, touching is not ok[Angry_zps01df8e28] on any gender. It should respect the individual's privacy. Makes me wonder how was that accepted at the studio? Also makes me wonder why this pops up now?

Lastly I can say that recently I haven't looked up to Pixar as the best animation studio out there but I have respected it for what it's made over the years. I have yet to seen Coco since it won't come out until February for me. But I will still watch their movies for that I know that there are so many talented people involved in their creations and not just Lassetter.
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I was going to say I'm amazed the guy is crummy/stupid enough to go and harass the person you're trusting with the beloved franchise you're dragging kicking and screaming back into theaters, but turns out the part about harassing Jones is not true.

That said, I'd be surprised and saddened by anyone at Pixar but him (except Jim Morris). He went along with the parts of the wage fixing thing a while back, he was hardly a squeaky clean, wonderful person before this. 

My only worry is that if they promote Docter he might lose his touch like Lasseter did. 

Edit: Oh god, it didn't really occur to me at first that the dude's married through all of this. Instant double creep points! 

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Andrew Wellman
Even before these allegations against Lasseter, one had to wonder about Pixar's hierarchy. Even the celebrated "Classroom A113" seemed, in essence, an old-boys network, and those original CalArts alumni (Lasseter, Stanton, Docter, Unkrich, Bird) appear to have been essentially dominating Pixar from the start--Darla Anderson is the only woman I can think of who seems to have endured with the company since the pre-"Toy Story" days. 

I don't know if it's possible for a company essentially founded by white males to become adequately diverse overnight; a long list of creative people have either quit or been let go by Pixar over the years, generally over "creative differences" (Jan Pinkava and Brenda Chapman essentially had their own stories taken away from them along with directing duties) and it wouldn't appear that Pixar has allowed any of the talent they've developed the opportunities the A113 gang has enjoyed--Angus MacLane has done some great work for them for a couple of decades now, but has never risen higher than co-director of "Finding Dory". (Of course, MacLane is a white guy, so promoting him would work against divversity.) 

As for Rashida Jones and Will McCormack...with all due respect, both of of them have threadbare screenwriting resumes. Jones' talent, in particular, is difficult to ascertain--she was the least funniest cast member on two of the funniest sitcoms of the past ten years ("Parks & Recreation" and "The Office"). It's almost as though she has parents who are powerful in the entertainment industry or something...
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Gray Catbird
So very disappointing and shocking. This is very hard for me to take, as I truly admired Lasseter’s work. He is the closest thing Disney has to a modern-day Walt Disney, a businessman with a successful creative vision and the charisma to become their public face.
And the worst part is that these revelations turned out to not be that surprising. We knew Lasseter has tremendous power within the studio, and we knew that he is the biggest hugger you’ll ever see. From there to these allegations becoming reality, there’s only one step. I looked back at a picture I took of him at D23 Expo, when he was being interviewed just 5 meters away from me, and I noticed that his hand was around the hips of the (female) reporter—an unusually intimate gesture for an interview, I thought... This small detail takes a whole new perspective now. [frown]
The fact he was not permanently fired shows just important he is for the company. At the same time, the fact he got any kind of dismissal at all in spite of his position suggests this was a really big problem. I’m really unsure what this means for the future, since he was very involved in all creative things at WDAS and Pixar. Can things go as succesfully without him? Is it even possible for him to come back after this?

Also, good point, Andrew Wellman, I believe we’ve discussed before on these forums how from a creative point of view, Pixar seems to have problems to move on from its founding fathers and hand the reigns to newer talent. All their hits, including the more recent ones, have been made by the people who were there since the start. It does seem that it’s not just creatively that this is proving to be problematic.
On the regards of diversity, one positive (and strangely constrasting) aspect is that while Pixar’s leadership is mainly white and male, women or POCs have always been depicted in a positive way whenever they were actually depicted in a Pixar film. And that’s something we know will get better. Incredibles 2 will (in all likelihood) have a female protagonist, and recently we got Joy, Cruz Ramirez, Coco... It’s easy to forget with all this that increasing diversity behind the scenes is just as important as on the screen, though.
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The LA Times discussed how this could affect the studios in the future.


It barely was noticed by investors, Coco is still looking at a $60 million opening, the Incredibles 2 teaser continues to rack in views, and John and Ed Catmull have a whole group of potential new leaders (Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, Darla Anderson).
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Sorry for my long absence from the forum.

I'd like to weigh in on this John Lasseter situation. First of all, even though yes, John Lasseter is a genius who got Pixar and WDAS to be the reigning kings of animation in North America, the accusations against him are deplorable. But that's all I'm going to say about ethics because this isn't a forum about that.

If Lasseter is fired, which I hope he is, Pixar will be fine. This is a bump in the road for Pixar, but it will not break Pixar down. In fact, overcoming this challenge could be what saves Pixar.

Here is why:

John Lasseter jumped the shark as soon as he made Cars. The Cars franchise has consistently earned Pixars worst reviews with an average 60% RT score for the trilogy. He built Pixar up to the empire it was, but wasn't able to keep it there. With the exception of a few standout films from post cars era (WALL-E, Up, TS3 Inside Out, - I haven't seen Coco yet so can't include it here) Pixar films have been living in the shadow of the pre-cars era. They have settled with films that are satisfying but don't live up to the expectation set from Pixar golden age (Toy Story-Incredibles)

You could say "It isn't fair to say this is solely John Lasseter's fault"

Sure. There are probably several factors coming into play here. He may not be solely at fault for causing the problem, but as a leader, John Lasseter has proved to be incapable of solving the problem.

Pixar has been needing a new leader for a long time. But John Lasseter's value to Pixar in recent years hasn't been because of his leadership, it has been because he is a personality; he was part of the Pixar brand.

Until now.

Pixar needs a new leader on the creative side.

Not a random outsider, but a Pixar insider who is just as much of a creative genius as John Lasseter, and who has created many of Pixars most original, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful movies. But they also need someone who demonstrates a strong sense of integrity in his leadership and behaviour. Yes, I'm talking about Pete Docter.

Pixar NEEDS Pete Docter. He may not have the same public personality that John Lasseter has, but he is just as, if not more brilliant than Lasseter, and he's also not a sexual predator His 3 movies Monsters Inc, Up and Inside Out are among the most critically and financially successful Pixar Movies. He has never made an underwhelming movie. Most importantly, he knows how to foster an incredibly collaborative environment that is what once made Pixar thrive in originality but that appears to have been clouded by bias and status. Pete Docter has been around Pixar since the beginning and knows how to get it back to where it was.

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Andrew Wellman
While Lasseter has certainly had a hand in Pixar's post-"Cars" evolution, the release of "Cars" also coincided with Disney's purchase of Pixar, and I've got to believe that Disney's meddling (the sequels, the attempt to merge "Brave" into the "Disney Princess" franchise, "Planes", etc.) would have occurred regardless of whether Lasseter signed off on any of it or not. I would also have to believe that the failed attempt to create Pixar Canada also factored in to the desire to boost revenues by producing "toyetic" sequels requring less development, and while "Cars 3" didn't make as much at the box office as "Inside Out", I'm sure it brought in far more licensing revenue. Again--was this Lasseter's doing, or the Disney board?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure exactly what Lasseter's been doing for Pixar, creatively or otherwise, since 2006 (besides directing "Cars 2"). That said, however: Call me selfish, I don't want Pete Docter to be promoted to a position where instead of directing movies he's overseeing theme park rides and executive producing other Disney features. If John Lasseter never directs a film again...I'd understand and accept why. But if Pete Docter never directs another film again--I would be heartbroken. Even if I have to wait five years from the day I'm typing this to see his next film, fine. Just so I know that I'll be able to see it. (For the record--I agree--yes, Pete Doctor is a genius.)
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