Earlier today Skydance Media founder and CEO, David Ellison, announced via a memo to employees that the company has decided to hire John Lasseter as the head of Skydance Animation. The news came a shock to many, and not surprisingly, Time’s Up and others had something to say regarding this move.

  • It came as a surprise to many that Skydance had decided to hire John Lasseter as head of their animation division.  Last year, amid multiple allegations of misconduct, the Walt Disney Company placed Lasseter on sabbatical, then later decided to part ways with him.
  • Many companies have removed employees following such allegations. Companies with a very public audience have taken care to avoid any additional missteps by making sure they clearly send the message that such behavior won’t be tolerated.
  • Movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up have formed as more and more women have reported misconduct in the workplace.
  • The Hollywood Reporter reached out to several sites and foundations for their thoughts on Skydance’s decision.  Included in the group were:
    • Time’s Up
    • Women and Hollywood
    • Women in Film
    • Women in Animation

What they’re saying:

  • Time’s Up: "Skydance Media’s decision to hire John Lasseter as head of animation endorses and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequence. At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace."
  • Time’s Up: "People often ask when a man who has abused his power 'gets' to 'come back.' There is no simple answer. But here are a few first steps:
    • 1) Demonstrate true remorse
    • 2) Work deeply to reform your behavior
    • 3) Deliver restitution to those you harmed.
    • That's the bare minimum.
  • Hiring decisions have consequences. And offering a high-profile position to an abuser who has yet to do any of those things is condoning abuse."
  • Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood: "I was floored to read that John Lasseter has been hired to run Skydance animation following his removal from Pixar. This is a horrible message to the women at Pixar who stood up and told their truths about their experiences. This is also a message to all that the bro culture is alive and well and thriving in Hollywood. David Ellison should be ashamed of himself."
  • Women in Film, Los Angeles in a statement: "Lasseter’s inappropriate touching and kissing has been reported by a number of women — from colleagues to subordinates."
  • WIF in response to a quote from Ellison's statement: "What does this mean? For women in this industry to feel safe, we need more transparency than the above statement and we need to know what the company plans to do to ensure that safety. By saying Skydance has conducted an independent investigation and then proceded [sic] to hire Lasseter, do they mean to suggest that they are hiring him in spite of the numerous accounts of women and colleagues? We do think that people can learn and change, and we look forward to men who model this, but true reparation requires transparency."
  • Women in Animation declined to comment.
 
 

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