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Keep in mind that people in the animation biz knew Lasseter had been fired from Toy Story 4 almost a year before Disney officially announced his departure from the film.

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Source: John Lasseter Already Out of Pixar for Good, Disney Waiting to Announce After “Coco” Oscar Run
Pixar’s John Lasseter is supposedly on a six month leave of absence from the animation house.
But I’m told that Lasseter has already negotiated his exit with parent company, Disney. They’re just waiting until “Coco,” Pixar’s release this weekend, has its Oscar run without interference. The six months would end just after the Academy Awards on March 4th.
Roger Friedman, November 24

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Disney Faces Daunting Questions in Wake of John Lasseter, Harvey Weinstein Scandals
Disney declined to answer inquiries by Variety as to whether the company was paying for Lasseter’s leave of absence and whether the entertainment giant intended to launch a formal investigation into the accusations. . . .
Sources told Variety that the executive’s behavior around young women has been known within the company since the 1990s. Whatever steps were taken to address it — which sources suggested included Disney having confronted Lasseter about the allegations — did not stop the complaints, which have continued until quite recently.
“This is not one guy going around acting inappropriately,” said Amid Amidi, the publisher of Cartoon Brew, a site that covers the animation industry. “This is one guy enabled by a massive corporate structure to act inappropriately.”
A former Pixar employee agreed, saying that CEO Bob Iger knew about a 2010 Oscar party where Lasseter was seen making out with a junior staffer.
“They’ve known for a long time,” the source said. “It has gone all the way to the top. I know personally that Bob was aware. … Everybody was aware. They just didn’t do anything about it.” . . .
The company could also face lawsuits from employees whom Lasseter never touched inappropriately, but who could allege that their careers suffered due to a discriminatory environment.
Rashida Jones emphasized that aspect in commenting on her own experience at Pixar. . . .
Some, however, worry that Lasseter’s boundless enthusiasm — which sets the tone at Pixar — will now be inhibited. Bill Capodagli, co-author of “Innovate the Pixar Way,” has written that Pixar’s culture of fun is essential to its success, and urged other companies to adopt it.
“I don’t think John ever grew out of his childlike enthusiasm — that’s probably what got him into trouble,” Capodagli said. “John didn’t have any boundaries. With the hugging and kissing and things like that, you have to know your audience and be aware of when people are uncomfortable with that kind of behavior.” . . .
Variety, November 29

Walt Disney Co. Declines To Say Whether It Is Investigating Allegations Against John Lasseter
It is not yet clear how – or even if – the Walt Disney Company intends to address the situation, or whether the company is capable of self-policing sexual misconduct at its top executive levels. What is becoming evident though is that many people at Disney had known about and tolerated Lasseter’s behavior for years. . . .
Sources have additionally told Cartoon Brew that they believe there has been at least one financial settlement from the Walt Disney Company to a woman, stemming from Lasseter’s actions. . . .
Cartoon Brew, November 29

Fresh Details Emerge of John Lasseter’s Behavior, Questions Arise About How Much Disney Knew
“He’s very tactile in a weird way,” said one former female executive who, like others, spoke with Deadline on condition that she not be named in the story for fear of reprisals. “He would rub my leg in a meeting … It was creepy and weird. It got to the point where I wouldn’t sit next to him in a meeting, because it undermined everything I said.”
There’s evidence Disney may well have been aware of troubling behavior on the part of the digital animation pioneer. Indeed the Pixar co-founder attended some wrap parties with a handler to ensure he would not engage in inappropriate conduct with women, say two people with direct knowledge of the situation. . . .
Two sources recounted Lasseter’s obsession with the young character actresses portraying Disney’s Fairies, a product line built around the character of Tinker Bell. . . .
One female executive with Disney’s consumer products group found herself the focus of Lasseter’s attentions, say sources who observed their interactions.
During one trip to New York City for the annual Toy Fair, Lasseter and a group of executives met in the lobby of Trump International Hotel and decided to go out for a “nightcap.” As the group walked out onto Columbus Circle, one person saw Lasseter pull the female executive tightly to him and move his hands over her body.
The female executive later sought to laugh off the encounter, saying she didn’t think her job description included “being groped by John Lasseter,” the observer said. “But you could tell she was pissed.” . . .
Deadline.com, November 29

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Disney Animation Sets ‘Day Of Listening’ For Staff Amid Uncertainty Over John Lasseter’s Future
According to one Disney veteran who spoke to THR, the “real reason behind this day of listening is to take the temperature of staff to see how likely it is that Lasseter can come back. That’s a stretch to put somebody back in charge of animation at such a storied brand as Disney after the revelations of his behavior.”
While such an event has never been held at Disney, similar events have been held at Disney’s other feature animation studio, Pixar. A studio source who wishes to remain anonymous told Cartoon Brew, “More than two years ago, Pixar conducted a ‘Day of Reflection’ at their Emeryville campus to understand what the issues were contributing to low morale. Much of the feedback pointed to Lasseter as the main problem. When he received the feedback, he sulked for a week before getting back to being King John.”
Cartoon Brew, January 31

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Two years ago? That would have been around the time Lasseter was secretly fired from Toy Story 4, no?

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COMMENTARY: Why Did ‘Coco’ Producer Darla K. Anderson Ditch Pixar Just Days After Winning The Oscar?
The timing of Anderson’s exit raises new questions about what is happening right now internally at Pixar. Even Brenda Chapman, who left Pixar following the release of Brave, waited for one month after her film’s theatrical release before exiting.
So, it’s extremely telling that Anderson, a staunch Pixar loyalist who was known by people at the studio to be extremely protective of the company brand, had planned to leave immediately after the end of Oscar season. . . .
While it’s unlikely that Anderson will speak anytime soon about why she chose to leave Pixar (she has also demurred on adequately addressing Lasseter’s actions), it would not be surprising to see other longtime Pixar upper brass follow the same path. That’s because one of the most damning revelations that has emerged out of the entire sordid Lasseter scandal is that his “missteps” were widely known to people who worked at the studio, and the studio’s management spent years protecting Lasseter at the expense of his victims. . . .
Anderson’s Pixar career may or may not be collateral damage of the Lasseter scandal, but her decision to sever ties with the company at the first convenient moment, not to mention the ringing endorsements from Disney brass, suggest that there’s more to the story. Whatever her particular situation may be, other Pixar careers will almost certainly come undone before the Lasseter drama has ended.
Cartoon Brew, March 9

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Another of John Lasseter's (female!) lieutenants bites the dust:

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Lori McAdams, John Lasseter Protector And Key Figure In Illegal Wage-Fixing Conspiracy, Is Leaving Pixar
Lori McAdams, a longtime veteran of Pixar and one of the studio’s highest-ranking women in executive management, is leaving the company, according to a new report in The Hollywood Reporter.
McAdams had been the studio’s vice president of human resources and administration and had worked there for 14 years. The article charges that she was “seen by many as one of Lasseter’s chief protectors.” Her role in protecting Lasseter has not been clearly defined.
Her role in another matter though is much more clear: McAdams was one of the key people responsible for maintaining an illegal industry-wide wage-fixing scheme in feature animation that was in large part spearheaded by Walt Disney and Pixar Animation studios president Ed Catmull. The subsequent lawsuits resulted in a $100 million settlement from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, in addition to settlements by other corporations.
The lawsuits alleged that during her time at Pixar, McAdams repeatedly violated federal antitrust law by working with competing animation studios to artificially suppress the wages of animation workers and prevent artists the freedom to seek higher salaries by moving to other studios.
McAdams not only helped set up the “gentleman’s agreements” between studios, but she played the role of enforcer when studios didn’t follow her illegal scheme. . . .
The roots of the wage-fixing conspiracy in animation stretch back to the mid-’80s when Pixar and Lucasfilm started an agreement to restrain their competition for the same employees. Perhaps it would be interesting then to note who the head of personnel at Lucasfilm was at the time. None other than McAdams, who worked there from 1984-1998.
Cartoon Brew, April 25

What Will Disney And Pixar Do About John Lasseter?
As we near the end of John Lasseter’s six-month “sabbatical” from his role as chief creative officer at Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios, Disney CEO Bob Iger has still not revealed what he intends to do.
The Walt Disney Company’s public response to Lasseter’s “missteps” has been nonexistent, creating the impression that they simply do not care about women employees or how they are treated. It’s also completely at odds with how every other entertainment conglomerate has dealt recently with sexual harassment situations, from Comcast-NBCUniversal’s handling of Matt Lauer to Fox’s handling of Louis C.K. In nearly every instance, those companies have issued a swift response by launching an investigation into the accusations, and then based on those results, taken the appropriate action. . . .
Any investigation into Lasseter would potentially implicate a large group of Disney and Pixar’s executives all the way up to Bob Iger, who saw no problem with allowing Lasseter to act as he did until the #MeToo movement made Lasseter’s behavior indefensible.
“All of his behavior was condoned,” an animator told The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters in a lengthy piece published yesterday. “It wasn’t just the drinking. It was his never having grown up. Some of senior management believed that was part of the secret ingredient when really the secret ingredient was a group of people.”
Masters’ piece doesn’t exactly reveal anything new about Lasseter’s behavior toward women — much has already been said — but it sheds new light on his substance abuse problems and ego issues. . . .
The article also discusses Lasseter’s treatment of other artists and colleagues who he bullied and belittled. Among the people allegedly victimized by Lasseter were animator Glen Keane and producer Don Hahn, both of whom were “pushed aside” by Lasseter. “John treated [Don] like shit,” a Disney veteran is quoted telling The Hollywood Reporter. (Both Keane and Hahn declined to comment to the Reporter.)
Lasseter’s penchant for taking credit for the work of others is also exposed in the Reporter piece. Jorgen Klubien, who co-created Cars with Joe Ranft, told the Reporter that Lasseter would often repeat what other colleagues said, but the person taking notes included only Lasseter’s words, making it appear that Lasseter had originated thoughts that he was only repeating. . . .
In a 2014 interview with a Danish publication, Klubien, who has known Lasseter since the late 1970s, foresaw much of what is happening right now: "John is about to explode from obesity and red wine these days. That’s because he’s living a lie. Like some strange Scrooge McDuck, he’s bathing in awards and money and people worshipping him because they think he’s made the whole thing. But one day the truth will come out. I’m not the only one he’s lying to." . . .
Cartoon Brew, April 26

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Disney considering welcoming back Pixar co-founder John Lasseter after allegations of unwanted touching: report
Executives at Walt Disney Co. have discussed bringing animation guru John Lasseter back to the company in a new role that would reduce his managerial power but allow him to retain creative influence, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Those discussions come as the end of Mr. Lasseter’s six-month leave, taken following accusations of unwelcome hugging and other touching, approaches on May 21. So far, Disney has given no indication whether or not Mr. Lasseter will return. It is also possible that Monday will pass with no decision. . . .
Wall Street Journal, May 16

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#LoseLasseter Campaign Gains Steam As Disney Considers Bringing Back Alleged Harasser
The absence of corporate leadership at Disney at a time when it is most needed is mind-boggling to a large percentage of the animation industry. The same company that can make a split-second decision about Roseanne based on a single tweet has been completely impotent for months in the face of overwhelming evidence and believable claims that one of its key animation execs spent years engaging in the physical and verbal harassment of women and helped to create a sexually hostile work environment.
Cartoon Brew, May 30

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BREAKING: John Lasseter Will Remain Employed By Disney Through The End Of 2018
John Laseter, 61, the disgraced chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios, will remain employed by the Walt Disney Company through December 31, 2018. He will continue to work in a consulting role, the Walt Disney Company said today, though he will not have an office at either studio.
At the beginning of the new year, he will depart the Walt Disney Company. The company did not offer a reason for his departure.
The Walt Disney Company has not announced who will take over Lasseter’s roles at Disney and Pixar. The New York Times, however, spoke to a person briefed on the matter, and the expectation is that Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee will be promoted at Walt Disney Animation and Up and Inside Out director Pete Docter will take on “greater responsibilities” at Pixar. . . .
Cartoon Brew, June 8

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John Lasseter is being replaced by Pete Docter at Pixar and by Jennifer Lee at Disney. Docter, of course, directed Monsters Inc., Up and Inside Out, while Lee co-directed Frozen and wrote the script, such as it was, for A Wrinkle in Time.

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Pixar’s Sexist Boys Club
I was a graphic designer at Pixar during the second half of my 20s. I know people are saying that the climate there wasn’t “that bad.” I’m here to tell you that it was, and more than likely still is. . . .
At Pixar, my female-ness was an undeniable impediment to my value, professional mobility and sense of security within the company. The stress of working amidst such a blatantly sexist atmosphere took its toll and was a major factor in forcing me out of the industry. . . .
The decision to replace Lasseter with Jennifer Lee at Disney and Pete Docter at Pixar provides hope for meaningful change moving forward. Docter is known for being a gifted, inclusive filmmaker, and his gracious approach to leadership promises a vast improvement to the openly lecherous, boys club environment that Lasseter was paramount in cultivating.
A few years ago, Docter played a large part in advocating for the talent of a young story artist who has since become Pixar’s first-ever female short-film director, which is an amazing step in the right direction for lady storytellers. A recent article published in The SF Chronicle implied that opportunities and the climate has been improving for at least three featured female Pixarians, which is great news (especially if these sentiments are echoed by other women within the studio and the article represents more than just a crisis-controlling PR front). . . .
Just four days after receiving my master’s diploma, I found myself walking the sparkly halls of Pixar on the faraway planet of San Francisco, California — a city, state and studio I’d only ever witnessed on screen. Elated to gain access to the famed animation campus as one of two graphic design interns, our morning orientation felt like some otherworldly dream. But before I even had the chance to sit down in the fancy swivel chair in my new office, a seasoned employee waved a red flag about the kind of behavior (or misbehavior) I could expect in the studio.
“Oh, John’s gonna LOVE you,” he remarked about one of Pixar’s highest ranking executives, teasing and warning me at the same time. During the next few days, male and female employees alike told me that the company’s Creative Chief Officer, John Lasseter, could be touchy-feely with members of the opposite sex; that he had a tendency to make sexually charged comments to and about women; that interactions with him were often uncomfortable or even mortifying for female Pixarians. The women who endured this unwanted attention often had a less flippant take on it, but on a broader level there was a collective attitude of, “Oh, ha ha; that’s just our John.”
But John wasn’t the only prominent male personality in the company to have his own whisper network. I was likewise told to steer clear of a particularly chauvinistic male lead in my department. . . .
Between the lines of my coworker’s warnings, she clued me in to several things about the Pixar culture that I found deeply disturbing: 1) this was a company that not only continued to employ but allowed known harassers to maintain positions of power; 2) such men felt emboldened enough to regularly express sexist, disrespectful thoughts about women in both private and public settings; 3) the burden of managing these kinds of lewd behaviors fell squarely on the shoulders of the company’s female employees, with little to no support from management. . . .
But my tactic of “going along with the program” wasn’t the most fruitful for my career path either. In 2010, shortly after I’d started working on my third feature film, Cars 2, my female art department manager approached me to relay some unsettling news.
“We’ve decided it’s best if you don’t attend art reviews on this production,” she announced, looking over the wall of my cubicle. “John has a hard time controlling himself around young pretty girls, so it will be better for everyone if we just keep you out of sight,” she said with a shoulder shrug, referring to our film’s director and the company’s CCO. Before I had a chance to respond, her floating head disappeared.
My face flushed red hot with shock, then disappointment, then rage. At the time, I’d never formally been introduced to the animation demigod. But true to his reputation, just about every time I passed the well-known director on campus — who was always being whisked from point A to B by an entourage of eager assistants, sidekicks and wranglers — he would look me up and down with the cheek-to-cheek grin of a Cheshire Cat and the jovial, carefree strut of a powerful man who knew he pretty much owned the place.
Reeling from the news that the I was being thrown out of our weekly art reviews because of the big boss’s lasciviousness, I wasn’t even sure who to direct my anger towards — knowing the problem was so much bigger than John. The legendary filmmaker presumably had no idea his entourage of yes-men were going around preemptively removing young women from his path, and I’m sure my manager wasn’t the primary brain behind this conflict-avoiding strategy. My gut told me that this exclusion tactic came from mid-level managers who were shielding John (and the company at large) from a potential lawsuit, and that it had little to do with protecting me. It was clear that the institution was working hard to protect Lasseter, at the expense of women like me.
I was crushed to have my participation in the filmmaking process — and quite possibly my career trajectory — thwarted simply because I was female. Missing weekly art review meetings meant I wouldn’t be able to pitch, articulate my ideas or discuss my work with the director one-on-one like everyone else on the team. It meant I wouldn’t be present for important conversation about his vision for the film, or to listen to the feedback and thoughts of a man who’s known around the world for his creative genius. . . .
But Lasseter didn’t need an intimate setting to make female employees uncomfortable. He gave out countless lecherous looks (or unwanted hugs and touches) to women he passed every day on campus. He was known for kissing on and groping women at studio events and wrap parties, even the wives and girlfriends of his subordinates.
The entire Pixar workforce witnessed the sleazy spin John brought to the studio’s annual Halloween bash. Quite a few of my female friends refused, year after year, to enter the costume contest — even if they’d worked for hours on a prize-worthy outfit — because of how infamously uncomfortable the costume parade became. If Lasseter found a woman attractive when she got on stage, he’d ask her to repeatedly spin around or bombarded her with suggestive comments, turning the event into yet another lewd spectacle. These very public displays were so cringeworthy and inappropriate (to not only the women who braved the stage but also to the general audience) that the company eventually asked a lead animator to take over as the master of ceremonies.
Lasseter’s open sexism set the tone from the top, emboldening others to act like frat boys in just about any campus setting. I’ll never forget the day a director compared his latest film to “a big-titted blond who was difficult to nail down” in front of the whole company, a joke that received gasps of disapproval. . . .
The day I received my last performance review I realized that my efforts to prove myself as a valuable asset to the company weren’t likely ever coming to fruition. The positive column was sparsely populated and the negative column listed things like, “designs too many options; seems like she’s trying too hard; asks too many questions to her superiors.” When I shared the document with my very candid male mentor, who openly acknowledged the culture of sexism at Pixar, he said “if you were a man, every single one of those negatives would be in the positive column.” From there, it was hard to see a path forward. Physically and mentally burnt out from years of bumping my head against the glass ceiling, I left Pixar at age 30, hoping to find a workplace where I could genuinely thrive. . . .
Cassandra Smolcic (via Variety), June 27

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Pixar and Disney Animation President Ed Catmull Retiring At End Of 2018
Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar and current president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, is retiring. He is perhaps the most complicated figure in the American animation industry: both a technical visionary who helped pioneer computer animation and build an industry from the ground up, as well as the unapologetic ringleader of a widespread wage-fixing scheme that impacted (and continues to impact) the earning potential of thousands of workers in the feature animation industry. . . .
To give the most basic sense of Catmull’s role in the development of computer graphics, he and his technical partner Fred Parke produced one of the first-ever pieces of cgi-rendered imagery while they were graduate students in 1972.
Since the 1970s, Catmull founded three centers for computer graphics research – the Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology, the Graphics Group in the Computer Division of Lucasfilm, and Pixar Animation Studios, the latter studio which he co-founded with Steve Jobs and Alvy Ray Smith. . . .
The factor that complicates — and in the eyes of an increasing number, tarnishes — Catmull’s brilliant legacy as a computer scientist is his role as a businessman in animation. Dating back to his earliest days at Pixar, Catmull schemed with competing companies to artificially suppress advancement opportunities and wages for animation and tech workers, preventing them the freedom to seek higher salaries by moving to other studios. . . .
Whether planned or unplanned, Catmull’s departure from Pixar and Disney on December 31, 2018 coincides with the official departure date of Pixar’s former chief creative officer John Lasseter. It’s the end of an era, and a changing of the guard in the Pixar timeline unlike any that has happened before.
The decline and fall of Lasseter will be another defining moment of Catmull’s management of Pixar. Catmull has never commented on why he allowed Lasseter to misbehave at Pixar and Disney for as long as he did. And by reported accounts, he had awareness of what Lasseter was doing and worked to mitigate the negative impacts of Lasseter’s behavior. Catmull, who has written a book on inspirational corporate management, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, clearly failed to foresee the consequences of allowing Lasseter’s bizarre behavior to continue until the situation spilled out of control and became a public scandal. . . .
Cartoon Brew, October 24

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