A year off from the animation industry due to misconduct allegations, former Pixar head John Lasseter has reportedly landed a new high-profile job – running Skydance Animation, the animation branch of the blockbuster production company behind the “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek” franchises.
Skydance Media chief David Ellison announced Lasseter’s hiring, replacing the previous head of Skydance Animation Bill Damaschke, and Lasseter will start work later this month. The hiring comes only nine days after Lasseter’s official contract expired with Disney, though he’s been out of his position for many months now with Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter replacing him.
Ellison sent a memo to his Skydance employees explaining that he had hired outside counsel to investigate the claims against Lasseter, promising “we have not entered into this decision lightly”. Skydance Animation has not yet released a movie but currently has two in development.
Time’s Up has released its own statement about the hiring, saying: “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…. 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.”