John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, is taking a leave of absence, citing unspecified “missteps,” according to a memo to staff.
A story published in the Hollywood Reporter details the accounts of women at Pixar who were made to feel uncomfortable by Lasseter’s unwanted touch. Lasseter was known around the company as a “hugger” and allegedly tried to kiss his female employees on the mouth.
Lasseter, who built Pixar Animation Studios into an entertainment juggernaut, said in the memo that the decision followed “difficult conversations.”
“I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me,” Lasseter wrote in the memo. “It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them. … It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent.”
The women of Pixar developed strategies to avoid Lasseter and his unwanted groping — particularly at wrap parties where he was known to drink heavily. One former employee anonymously alleged her manager didn’t allow her to attend meetings with Lasseter because “John has a hard time controlling himself around young pretty girls,” she told Variety.
The woman said her absence from those meetings left her feeling “undervalued and stifled” at Pixar. Ultimately, she left, citing leadership that stunted her career instead of having “difficult conversations with the most important, high-ranking and powerful man in the company.”
CHARLIE ROSE FIRED
Charlie Rose’s CBS News career came to an unceremonious end Tuesday when the network fired him over allegations of sexual harassment.
“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately,” CBS News President David Rhodes wrote in a note to staff. “Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace.”
QUEEN BEE REMAINS ON TOP
Is there anything Beyonce doesn’t excel at?
Last year, the singer was fifth on Forbes’ list of highest-paid female musicians. But with the release of the critically lauded “Lemonade,” and her Formation World Tour, the 36-year-old nearly doubled her income and earned the top spot on Forbes’ 2017 list.
Between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017, she made $105 million. Trailing behind with a mere $69 million is Adele, followed by Taylor Swift at No. 3 with $44 million, Celine Dion at No. 4 with $42 million and Jennifer Lopez rounding out the top five with $38 million.
Actress Scarlett Johannson is 33 … Actor Mark Ruffalo is 50 … Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is 59 … Director Terry Gilliam is 77.