Disgraced formerÂ Disney animation head and ex-Pixar chiefÂ John Lasseter has been named as the top animation exec atÂ Skydance Media — and considering his history at Pixar, people are PISSED!
In statements to the media on Wednesday, bothÂ Time’s Up andÂ Women In Film — advocacy groups that have been vocal in the wake of the sexual misconduct scandals that have plagued the entertainment industry over the past 18 months — sharply criticized Skydance CEOÂ David Ellison for hiring Lasseter despite his alleged extensive past as a sexual harasser.
In a statement released yesterday, Time’s Up blasted Lasseter’s hiring (below) and the bigger picture:
â€œSkydance Mediaâ€™s decision to hire John Lasseter as head of animation endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence. At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.
People often ask when a man who has abused his power ‘gets’ to ‘come back.’ There is no simple answer. But here are a few first steps:
1) Demonstrate true remorse.
2) Work deeply to reform your behavior.
3) Deliver restitution to those you harmed.
Thatâ€™s the bare minimum.
Hiring decisions have consequences. And offering a high-profile position to an abuser who has yet to do any of those things is condoning abuse.â€�
Very well said!
And Women in Film took particular aim at Ellison for even hiring Lasseter in the first place (below):
â€œLasseterâ€™s innappropriate touching and kissing has been reported by a number of women â€“ from colleagues to subordinates. In the statement from Skydance, David Ellison says, â€˜Lasseter has been forthright in taking ownership of his behavior, apologized for his actions and has spent the past year on sabbatical analyzing and improving his workplace behavior.â€™ He also says that Skydance had â€™employed outside counsel to investigate the allegations.â€™
What does this mean? For women in this industry to feel safe, we need more transparency than the above statement and we need to know what the company plans to do to ensure that safety. By saying Skydance has conducted an independent investigation and then proceeded to hire Lasseter, do they mean to suggest that they are hiring him in spite of the numerous accounts of women and colleagues? We do think that people can learn and change, and we look forward to men who model this, but true reparation requires transparency.â€�
And let’s not forget, the power dynamics in society still reflect a deep inequality between men and women, so it’s understandable why this is hard to accept.
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?
[Image via WENN.]
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