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- On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter published a report with misconduct allegations against Pixar chief John Lasseter, and he took a six-month leave of absence.
- The report said that Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack left “Toy Story 4” early because of an unwanted advance by Lasseter to Jones.
- Jones and McCormack denied this in a statement, and said the real reason they left was because of a lack of diversity at Pixar.
Rashida Jones says she left “Toy Story 4” early because of creative and philosophical differences, not because of an unwanted advance from Pixar chief John Lasseter (as reported Tuesday by The Hollywood Reporter).
Jones is listed as a co-writer on the screenplay for “Toy Story 4,” but left the project because her and writing partner Will McCormack did not feel that women and people of color had an equal voice at Pixar, she said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Lasseter confirmed he was taking a six-month leave of absence after what he called “missteps,” shortly before The Hollywood Reporter published a report with accusations against him including “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” The THR story also cited sources who said Jones left the project early because Lasseter “made an unwanted advance.”
In a statement Tuesday, Jones and McCormack said they did not leave Pixar because of an unwanted advance from Lasseter, but that they were still “happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable.”
Here is the full statement:
“There is so much talent at Pixar and we remain enormous fans of their films. But it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice, as is demonstrated by their director demographics: out of the 20 films in the company’s history, only one was co-directed by a woman and only one was directed by a person of color. We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring, and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”
As of 2017, Pixar had released 19 feature films. Only one of them was co-directed by a woman: 2012’s “Brave.” Brenda Chapman, who started the project and came up with the story with a female protagonist, was replaced by Mark Andrews during production.
“When Pixar took me off of ‘Brave’- a story that came from my heart, inspired by my relationship with my daughter – it was devastating,” she wrote in The New York Times in 2012.
“Coco,” in theaters Wednesday, is the first Pixar movie directed by a person of color: co-director Adrian Molina is of Mexican descent.