Pixar’s John Lasseter taking leave citing ‘missteps’ and ‘unwanted hugs’

The head of Disney Animation will take a six-month sabbatical after stating he has unintentionally attained staff member feel disrespected or uncomfortable

Disney Animation head John Lasseter will take a six-month leave of absence after confessing to unspecified “missteps”.

In a company memo, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter writes that he has fallen short in creating a culture that spawns “support and collaboration” and clues at behavior that he has been confronted about.

” I’ve lately had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me ,” he writes.” It’s never easy to face your blunders, but it’s the only route to learn from them. As a outcome, I’ve been devoting a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champ I want to be. It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent .”

Lasseter, who is one of the founders of Pixar and the director of Toy Story, also apologizes for letting employees down while adding more details about the conduct that has led to him taking a sabbatical.

” I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving objective of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form ,” he writes.” No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to situated their own bounds and have them respected .”

In a statement, a Disney spokesperson answered:” We are committed to maintaining an environment in which all employees are respected and empowered to do their best run. We appreciate John’s candor and sincere apology and fully support his sabbatical .”

The memo has arrived at the same time as an investigation by the Hollywood Reporter into complaints about Lasseter’s behavior.” You’d hug him and he’d whisper in your ear, a long time ,” a former insider said.” He hugged and hugged and everyone’s looking at you. Just invading the space .”

It also lands just as Pixar’s latest film Coco is released in the US, with pundits predicting it to win out at the Thanksgiving box office. Lasseter was named chief creative police officers of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006.

News of Lasseter taking a leave of absence follows on from Jeffrey Tambor stepping down from his role in Transparent over reported inappropriate behavior and CBS deciding to cut ties with Charlie Rose after the reporting of misconduct.

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