Sports

Jones & McCormack Refute Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against John Lasseter

Jones & McCormack Refute Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against John Lasseter

Jones has denied the allegations made by the report in a new statement, which has been obtained by Entertainment Weekly, clarifying that she and McCormack parted ways with Pixar due to "creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences".

John Lasseter, the Oscar-winning chief creative officer of Disney and Pixar Animation, announced on Tuesday in a staff memo that he will be taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Multiple news outlets have reported that Lasseter allegedly engaged in misconduct with Disney and Pixar employees, with the Hollywood Reporter reporting that the allegations included "grabbing, kissing" and "making comments about physical attributes". While those carefully chosen words appeared in a Pixar memo that recently made its way online, it was quickly followed up by a report alleging workplace misconduct by Lasseter. Within the note, he offered his apologies to whomever "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".

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In an internal email obtained by ABC News, Lasseter acknowledged that recently he's had "a number of hard conversations that have been very painful for me". "No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected".

The duo points out that only one of Pixar's 20 films have been directed by a woman, and another by a person of colour.

In a statement to the New York Times, however, Jones said McCormack instead cited "philosophical differences" and Pixar's treatment of female and minority employees. That was from one of THR's unnamed sources, though, not Jones or McCormack, who didn't respond to THR's "repeated" requests for comment.

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Lasseter is now the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Wall Street Journal had even cheekily detailed his proclivity for hugs in a 2011 story and photo spread subtitled "A sampling from among the 48 hugs administered by Pixar chief John Lasseter during the WSJ's daylong adventure with him". The statement adds that "we hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered".

A spokesperson for Disney said in a statement, "We appreciate John's candour and honest apology and fully support his sabbatical".

The pair continued by writing that there is "so much talent" at Pixar and that they continue to enjoy their films.

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