John Lasseter, the former head of Pixar and Disney Animation, who left the company last year following allegations of sexual misconduct, has a new job—he will now head up another fancy production company, Skydance Media.
The CEO of Skydance, David Ellison, called Lasseter “a singular creative and executive talent,” according to the Hollywood Reporter and stressed the following in an internal company memo, announcing Lasseter’s hire: “Let me be clear: we have not entered into this decision lightly.” Ellison also stated that Skydance had hired a third-party company to look into the allegations against Lasseter before hiring him.
In a statement, according to the New York Daily News, Lasseter said:
“I have spent the last year away from the industry in deep reflection, learning how my actions unintentionally made colleagues uncomfortable, which I deeply regret and apologize for,” Lasseter said in a statement. “It has been humbling, but I believe it will make me a better leader.”
In November 2017, Lasseter announced his decision to leave Disney, citing “missteps” he’d taken at the company. These would later be reported to be a “pattern of alleged misconduct” that included “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”
Time’s Up responded to Lasseter’s hiring with a statement (per the Hollywood Reporter):
“Skydance Media’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.”
The statement lists a number of “first steps” for men who have been accused of sexual assault or misconduct, including “demonstrate true remorse” and “deliver restitution.” It goes on: “[O]ffering a high-profile position to an abuser who has yet to do any of those things is condoning abuse.”