He is the highest ranking Hollywood executive to be taken down since the #MeToo movement launched with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein last October. John Lasseter, co-founder of Pixar, will leave the studio at the end of the year in light of allegations of unwanted touching from staff. Disney announced Lasseter will stay on as a consultant through the end of the year and the 61 year old pioneer of digital animation has acknowledged "missteps" in his behavior with staff. He sent a memo to employees, apologizing to, “anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that an internal debate over the executive's fate has been going on since last Fall when Lasseter took a leave of absence following the allegations. "Some said the behavior hadn't bothered them, while others, and in particular younger workers, said his return would be a blow to the broader #MeToo movement".
No matter how valuable the employee, companies are no longer tolerating harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Lasseter was one of the most public creative executives in Hollywood and led the revival of Disney animation. He is also one of many powerful people called out for inappropriate behavior in the last year.
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