Disney-Pixar animation executive Lasseter takes leave after ‘missteps’: memo

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(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co government John Lasseter, who heads animation at each Disney and Pixar, informed firm workers on Tuesday he was taking a six-month go away of absence following what he referred to as “missteps” together with undesirable hugs that made workers uncomfortable, based on a memo seen by Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: John Lasseter, Chief Inventive Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, speaks in the course of the North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. on January eight, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Picture

“It’s by no means simple to face your missteps, nevertheless it’s the one solution to study from them,” Lasseter stated within the memo, during which he apologized to workers who felt “disrespected or uncomfortable.”

“I particularly need to apologize to anybody who has ever been on the receiving finish of an undesirable hug or another gesture they felt crossed the road in any manner, form, or kind,” he added. “Irrespective of how benign my intent, everybody has the proper to set their very own boundaries and have them revered.”

A pioneer in pc animation, Lasseter has been the driving inventive pressure behind Disney’s success in animated movies over the previous decade. He’s an Oscar winner and chief inventive officer of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Disney stated in a press release that it appreciated Lasseter’s “candor and honest apology” and supported his go away of absence.

“We’re dedicated to sustaining an setting during which all workers are revered and empowered to do their greatest work,” the corporate stated.

Lasseter is the most recent Hollywood determine to be accused of inappropriate conduct towards ladies since producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from his firm in October after allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Weinstein has denied allegations of non-consensual intercourse.

Information of Lasseter’s determination to take a go away of absence was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. The trade publication additionally revealed a narrative on Tuesday that stated some ladies at Disney had been made uncomfortable by bodily contact initiated by Lasseter.

Disney didn’t reply to a request for touch upon allegations reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Lasseter didn’t reply to an e-mail requesting remark.

Lasseter, 60, joined the corporate in 2006 when Disney purchased Pixar Animation Studios and named him chief inventive officer of Disney Animation Studios. He has produced a variety of commercially profitable movies and been praised as a modern-day Walt Disney.

A part of Pixar’s founding workforce in 1996, Lasseter has overseen 11 motion pictures which have received the Academy Award for greatest animated function, together with “Up,” “Discovering Nemo” and “Frozen.”

Disney animation and Pixar movies have offered roughly $14 billion price of tickets worldwide since Lasseter joined Disney, based on a Reuters evaluation of knowledge from the Field Workplace Mojo web site.

Lasseter directed the 1995 hit “Toy Story,” the primary feature-length computer-animated movie, which earned him an Oscar for particular achievement, and has been credited with main a resurgence of Disney Animation. The studio was revitalized with the 2013 musical “Frozen” and 2016 Oscar winner “Zootopia.”

As well as, Lasseter has served as principal inventive adviser to Walt Disney Imagineering, the division that develops theme park sights. He was instrumental within the design of Vehicles Land, the centerpiece of a 2012 redesign of Disney’s California Journey park.

Disney shares closed up 25 cents, or lower than 1 p.c, at $103 a share on the New York Inventory Change on Tuesday.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Modifying by Jonathan Oatis

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