One of Hollywood’s most high profile executives to have been accused of sexual misconduct has a powerful new gig, with the fresh employer of John Lasseter claiming it’s confident his “mistakes have been recognised.”
Lasseter will soon lead the animation department at Skydance Media, after taking a sabbatical from his role leading Disney and Pixar in November 2017. At the time he said, “it’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s only way to learn from them.”
The appointment has caused backlash in Hollywood and been slammed by Time’s Up. But Skydance Media has defended the move, stating in a press release that that are confident Lasseter’s “mistakes have been recognised”, following investigations and substantive conversations with Lasseter.
Staff at Skydance have been told by their CEO David Ellison on the appointment that: “John 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”, according to Deadline.
Anonymous Pixar and Disney employees had made allegations about Lasseter’s behaviour to a number of media outlets, while Rashida Jones and others have spoken out about the culture at Pixar noting that women and people of colour lack an equal creative voice. Following his sabbatical, Lasseter officially left Disney midway through 2018, but continued to consult for them.
Time’s Up has issued a statement about Skydance’s decision, noting that it “endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence.”
They state that now is the time to elevate people whose voices 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.”
So when do men who have been accused of abusing their power “get to make a comeback? Well there is no simple answer, according to the Time’s Up statement. But they note a few first steps that should be considered.
- That the individual demonstrates true remorse
- They work deep’y to reform their behaviour
- They deliver restitution to those harmed.
And those three points, it says, are 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.”
The group Women and Hollywood have asked how Skydance vetted Skydance’s past, stating that “we need more transparency” if women are ever going to feel truly safe in the industry.
Now Read: Why it’s #NotSoFast in Hollywood for the men making comebacks.