Published Nov 21, 2017Earlier today (November 21), news broke that Disney•Pixar head John Lasseter was stepping down due to multiple allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. In the news piece, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that Rashida Jones had stepped down from writing Toy Story 4 due to an unwanted advance from Lasseter. Now, she has denied those claims.
That said, it's still not a good look for Pixar's PR department — in a new statement from Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack, the two say they actually stepped down because of the company's inability to give "an equal creative voice" to women and people of colour.
Read their full statement below, as given to Variety:
We feel like we have been put in a position where we need to speak for ourselves. The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories. In this instance, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak for us. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.
There is so much talent at Pixar and we remain enormous fans of their films. But it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice, as is demonstrated by their director demographics: out of the 20 films in the company's history, only one was co-directed by a woman and only one was directed by a person of color. We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring, and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.
Outside of Jones and McCormack, however, multiple women have still expressed discomfort by Lasseter's behaviour in the workplace. As a result, he is on a six-month leave of absence.