According to The Hollywood Reporter, the staff of the Walt Disney Animation Studios will hold a “Day of Listening” on February 1. The report says that the day will include human-resources professionals to facilitate a discussion of workplace concerns.
The event is being held midway through John Lasseter’s six-month sabbatical which is the result of workplace concerns regarding his interactions with staff members. It is unknown if a similar day will be held at Pixar Animation Studios which was also led by Lasseter. But according to the article when Pixar had a listening event several years ago employee complaints were aired about Lasseter’s behavior generally. When Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull delivered that feedback to Lasseter he was so angry that he didn’t speak to Catmull for more than a week
Disney declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter.
Some see this event as a way to take the temperature of the staff regarding if Lasseter should return. That being said, many believe that a return is unlikely.
The article speculates that Inside Out director Pete Docter will take the creative reigns of Pixar, perhaps with a partner. While at Disney the speculation is that Frozen’s Jennifer Lee and Zootopia co-directors Rich Moore and Byron Howard will form a triumvirate.
Pixar will be at the forefront of the company’s efforts this summer with the release of Incredibles 2 and the opening of Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland along with Pixar Pier and Pixar Fest at the Disneyland Resort.