Disney animation leader John Lasseter to take six-month leave of absence, citing “missteps” among coworkers

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies, Movies & TV, Pixar

Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ chief creative officer John Lasseter released a memo to his staff today announcing he will be taking a six-month leave of absence.

In the memo, Lasseter explained that he has “recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful.” Lasseter went on to further explain the nature of these painful conversations.

“It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them. As a result, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion 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. Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. 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.”

Lasseter further discussed Disney culture and its importance to him, before announcing his sabbatical.

“In my conversations with Disney, we are united in our commitment to always treat any concerns you have with the seriousness they deserve, and to address them in an appropriate manner. We also share a desire to reinforce the vibrant, respectful culture that has been the foundation of our studios’ success since the beginning. And we agree the first step in that direction is for me to take some time away to reflect on how to move forward from here. As hard as it is for me to step away from a job I am so passionate about and a team I hold in the highest regard, not just as artists but as people, I know it’s the best thing for all of us right now. My hope is that a six-month sabbatical will give me the opportunity to start taking better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.”

Finally, Lasseter finished up with some well wishes and encouragement for his team.

“I’m immensely proud of this team, and I know you will continue to wow the world in my absence. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together again in the new year.”

Disney and Pixar will be without Lasseter for this week’s release of “Coco” and during continued production of upcoming titles including “The Incredibles 2,” “Toy Story 4,” and “Wreck-It Ralph 2.”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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