This was the only possible good outcome of this situation. Earlier this year, John Lasseter took a leave of absence from Pixar after allegations of sexual misconduct became public. The once happy animator who was the head of Pixar and helped change Disney Animation Studios to what it is now had two choices: stay on and be a pariah or make a graceful exit. The latter was chosen.
Reports confirm that Lasseter will be staying on at Pixar for the duration of the year. After that, he will no longer be working for the company that he helped build. More on the story here below.
The Holllywood Reporter says the exit comes after it was revealed that there were allegations that Lasseter had committed several missteps during the course of his career. As soon as reports of his inappropriate behavior became public, Lasseter took a six-month sabbatical in hopes that he could redeem himself for his actions. However, many called for his termination, not a six-month vacation. According to Variety, social media users went as far as using the #LoseLasseter hashtag to call for his oust.
Disney CEO Bob Iger released a statement that reads:
“John had a remarkable tenure at Pixar and Disney Animation, reinventing the animation business, taking breathtaking risks and telling original, high-quality stories that will last forever. We are profoundly grateful for his contribution, which included a masterful and remarkable turnaround of The Walt Disney Animation Studios. One of John’s greatest achievements is assembling a team of great storytellers and innovators with the vision and talent to set the standard in animation for generations to come.”
Lasseter released a statement of his own. Here’s what he had to say:
“The last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities. While I remain dedicated to the art of animation and inspired by the creative talent at Pixar and Disney, I have decided the end of this year is the right time to begin focusing on new creative challenges. I am extremely proud of what two of the most important and prolific animation studios have achieved under my leadership and I’m grateful for all the opportunities to follow my creative passion at Disney.”
Variety adds that Lasseter is not expected to have an office at either Pixar or Disney in the interim. He will still remain a consultant until the end of the year.
Disney did not release any names for his replacement. But there are rumors that Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee could receive more responsibilities. Docter (Up, Inside Out) would oversee Pixar, while Lee (screenwriter of Frozen) would lead Disney. Again, that is just the rumor. But we will keep you posted on any developments as they come in.
[Source THR | Variety]