The Walt Disney Company still has not formally announced a decision on the fate of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter, who is now in the 7th month of his “sabbatical.”
The only thing publicly known at this point is that Disney’s corporate leadership wants to re-install Lasseter, as reported recently by the Wall Street Journal.
The absence of corporate leadership at Disney at a time when it is most needed is mind-boggling to a large percentage of the animation industry. The same company that can make a split-second decision about Roseanne based on a single tweet has been completely impotent for months in the face of overwhelming evidence and believable claims that one of its key animation execs spent years engaging in the physical and verbal harassment of women and helped to create a sexually hostile work environment.
Industry frustration spilled over this afternoon in the #LoseLasseter hashtag, which has started growing on Twitter. What’s notable about the growth of the hashtag is not just the number of tweets about Lasseter, but also who’s participating. The hashtag is being propelled largely by artists who work in the industry, some of whom are even employed by the Walt Disney Company.
This is a key example of the animation industry speaking loudly, clearly, and collectively: the people who have made it difficult for women to succeed in this business are no longer welcome. The only question at this point is, Why isn’t the Walt Disney Company listening to the community?
Here’s a few tweets that are representative of what’s being said in #LoseLasseter:
How is this even a conversation, Disney? He humiliated your company and alienated your entire female staff. Giving him a slap on the wrist and letting him return is a slap in the face of every woman in our industry. #loselasseter https://t.co/Gtjnioj4oE
— Amanda Turnage (@FeyNouveau) May 30, 2018
No woman (or person) should ever have to sacrifice her/their safety just to perform at work every day. Unwanted hugs, touching, and kissing are not in your contract. Inappropriate conduct should NOT be normalized in today's climate. #LoseLasseter
— javadoodles (@ilanartist) May 31, 2018
Proud to see Disney stand up against hate today, but disappointed that on the animation side, we’re still in the dark as to whether or not a known abuser will be allowed to return to the helm of the company. #LoseLasseter
— Naomi ✨ (@nayhomes) May 31, 2018
We’re a collaborative industry. I hope the company considers the loss – between womens voices silenced internally, & the women who look at an abuser in charge & take their IP to other studios. Women make up over 25% of union employees – Lasseter is just one man. #LoseLasseter
— Naomi ✨ (@nayhomes) May 31, 2018
— Bob Flynn (@bobjinx) May 30, 2018
— Benjamin Arcand (@crazybaloney) May 31, 2018
Suffering financially, Disney, so that you are considering bringing back someone toxic to employees & dangerous for your brand? I see you. Maybe it's time for a talented creative who is from an underrepresented background? #LoseLasseter https://t.co/FSlcqi2Uhf
— Meagan Healy (@MeaganHealy) May 31, 2018
A studio that's full of talented people, including many women who would be at risk, and Disney is even considering this? Talented animation folks: will you want to work there? #LoseLasseterhttps://t.co/6wWW96Soen
— Toonhole Chris (@toonholechris) May 30, 2018
Apparently she and #Lasseter both pitched Brave & Cars 2 in Europe to some consumer product peeps. Cars 2 was met with silence while Brave got a standing ovation. What happened after they returned Monday morning? Did she get a “great job Brenda?” No. She got fired.
— Heidi Jo Gilbert (@heidijogilbert) May 17, 2018
*Roseanne tweets dumb racist stuff*
Disney, does right thing: "You're fired for not upholding our brand values of inclusion, tolerance and civility"
*John Lasseter rampantly sexually harasses women*
Disney: "….welcome back John!"
C'mon, Disney. Stay on brand.
— Chris Pianka (@ChrisPianka) May 30, 2018
Inappropriate behavior from a supervisor left me doubting my own abilities for years after. Was I hired for my talent? My skills? Or was I hired to serve the supervisor's emotional needs?
this is why we must #loselasseter .
— Ashlyn Anstee (@ashlynanstee) May 30, 2018
We CANNOT let this predator back into what should be a safe space! Show that you stand with us, all the women in animation & all the victims, let everyone know that you want them to #LoseLasseter ‼️📢 We won’t stand for this!https://t.co/r0c8BWnpXS
— Jenny Calabro (@Eidolon_Night) May 30, 2018
We, the workers of the animation industry, deserve a safe work environment free from harassment and there has been no confirmation of our safety or reasons why we should believe that Lasseter has learned the error of his ways #LoseLasseter https://t.co/S9CF911YDl
— Jean Kang (@jeandrawsstuff) May 30, 2018
If you agree, please show your support with the #LoseLasseter hashtag. Let's make our voices heard. We don't want to work with harassers, and we shouldn't have to!
— Katie Rice (@katiejrice) May 30, 2018
Lasseter can’t come back. He's a monster. Disney should be protecting it’s employees, but all they’ve done so far is let him take a long trip to Italy. No one is too talented to be replaced, especially Mr. Cars.
Cut him loose, Disney!#LoseLasseterhttps://t.co/4q0Ee50FtF
— Neil Graf (@NeilGraf1) May 30, 2018
— Pablo Leon (@ArtsyPabster) May 30, 2018
Having been a long time fan of Pixar, I firmly believe that John Lasseter shouldn't return to work at the studio.
The harassment that he committed towards female employees were (and are) fireable offenses. He should've known better then and now. #LoseLasseter
— Jeremy Fuscaldo (@JeremyFuscaldo) May 31, 2018