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John Lasseter

With his announced six-month sabbatical nearing its end, the Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is still considering allowing John Lasseter to return to the company, although in a diminished capacity.

  • According to a WSJ source, the studio is considering allowing Lasseter to have creative influence at Disney and Pixar while reducing this managerial role.
  • In November 2017, accusations of inappropriate behavior and misconduct — including unwelcoming hugging and touching — emerged against Lasseter, leading him to announce a leave of absence.
  • That leave of absense technically ends on May 21st, although many have wondered if the once-golden child can realisticly return to his role given the accusations that have come to light.
  • Among the accusations printed by outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline are that Lasseter was known to drink heavily at social events, leading to the necessity for him to have “handlers.” Others have accused Lasseter of “grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes.”
  • Announcing his sabbatical, Lasseter wrote in a memo, “I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them.”
  • Early this year, Disney reportedly held a Day of Listening for Walt Disney Animation Studios employees to voice their concerns about workplace concerns.
  • Should Lasseter not return to Disney, rumored replacements include Inside Out director Pete Docter leading Pixar while Frozen’s Jennifer Lee along with Zootopia‘s Rich Moore and Byron Howard head creative at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
  • Many have noted that, while Pixar’s Coco won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as well as Best Original Song, Lasseter was not mentioned in any of the evening’s speeches.
  • Lasseter had been set to direct Pixar’s Toy Story 4, but it was announced at the 2017 D23 Expo that Josh Cooley would be helming the film instead.
  • No official announcement regarding Lasseter’s return has been made.

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