New details have emerged about the alleged workplace sexual harassment by Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, including evidence suggesting Disney knew of and worked around the misconduct. According to multiple sources who spoke anonymously to Deadline, the Pixar co-founder attended wrap parties with a handler “to ensure he would not engage in inappropriate conduct with women.”
Citing “missteps,” Lasseter announced last week that he would be taking a six-month “sabbatical” from his role: “I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.”
One former Pixar employee recalled Lasseter’s “obsession” with the young actresses portraying Disney fairies as a promotion for a line of Tinkerbell-themed toys. “He was inappropriate with the fairies,” she told Deadline, referring to Lasseter’s lingering hugs. “We had to have someone make sure he wasn’t alone with them.”
Another anonymous source witnessed Lasseter “pull [a] female executive tightly to him and move his hands over her body.” Visibly uncomfortable, the executive laughed it off at the time, joking that she didn’t think her job should include “being groped by John Lasseter.”
Following the earlier allegations, a Disney representative issued the following statement to IndieWire: “We are committed to maintaining an environment in which all employees are respected and empowered to do their best work. We appreciate John’s candor and sincere apology and fully support his sabbatical.”
Read the rest of the new details here.