Artist Rights

Skydance Animation ‘Condones Abuse’ By Hiring John Lasseter, Says Time’s Up

Time’s Up, the movement and organization founded last year to fight sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement, has denounced Skydance Animation’s hiring of John Lasseter.

The organization released the following statement this afternoon. Here it is in full:

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.

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.

The hiring of Lasseter just days after his contract at Disney ended has sparked a swift and strong social media backlash throughout the animation industry, as well as the broader entertainment industry. Skydance clearly expected some kind of reaction, which is why they prepared a statement about how they went about hiring Lasseter, though it’s not clear if they were prepared for the force of scorn that is being heaped at both them and Lasseter.

According to a tweet by New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes, prior to making the announcement, Skydance had sought the endorsements of “powerful Hollywood women” for Lasseter’s hiring, and they were rebuffed by every woman:

Here’s a collection of some other comments and statements about Lasseter’s hiring:

Melissa Silverstein, the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, told The Hollywood Reporter:

“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.”

John Lasseter photo via Shutterstock.com.

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