After a six-month leave of absence, Pixar co-founder John Lasseter will permanently step down from Walt Disney Animation following accusations of inappropriate workplace behaviour, BBC reported.
Lasseter will reportedly stay on as a consultant before parting ways by the end of the year. In the wake of the Me Too movement in November last year, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation had announced a six month sabbatical after allegations of inappropriate behaviour, which included touching and hugging his female employees without their consent.
The behaviour was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Rashida Jones, one of the writers on the animated movie Toy Story 4, and her writing partner Will McCormack, left the project after Lasseter allegedly made an “unwanted advance.”
Speaking about his departure from Disney, Lasseter said that it was time to focus on new challenges. “The last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities,” Lasseter said in a statement. “While I remain dedicated to the art of animation and inspired by the creative talent at Pixar and Disney, I have decided the end of this year is the right time to begin focusing on new creative challenges.”
In addition to being the creative force behind beloved animation titles including Frozen (2013) and Moana (2016) and Zootopia (2016), Lasseter has also directed Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and A Bug’s Life (1998).