John Lasseter may return to Pixar after all despite his sexual misconduct allegations. Near the end of 2017, it was announced that Pixar's CCO John Lasseter would be taking a leave of absence for six months. This decision was the direct result of him being accused of inappropriate touching in the workplace. In the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, these reports were taken very seriously and added one more major Hollywood figure to these conversations..
There hasn't been any sight or sound of Lasseter since his leave was announced, and all indications pointed towards his time at Pixar being finished. Even though Disney held a 'Day of Listening' to discuss Lasseter's behavior to see what chance of return he has, it immediately looked like wouldn't be returning in any capacity. However, with his sabbatical days away from finishing, it appears he could return after all.
A new report from Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is now considering bringing Lasseter back. If this is ultimately what the studio decides, Lasseter could potentially return with the same level of creative input but with reduced power at the studio overall. There is no final decision just yet and WSJ stresses they could still decide to not bring him back at all or even restore his former position fully.
The possibility of Disney and Pixar bringing Lasseter back in any capacity will undoubtedly be met with tons of pushback. It could be a PR nightmare of trying to explain such reasoning without potentially diminishing the work that the recent social movements have had. He admitted to these "missteps" being true on some level after all and him returning would immediately signal that what he's done wasn't a fireable offense.
Lasseter is a creative genius and responsible for such hits like Toy Story and Monster Inc. for Pixar, as well as Frozen and Zootopia for Disney Animation, but his actions aren't excusable. Both studios have continued to operate just fine in the months without Lasseter too, with some of the more experienced people in both departments stepping up. The DNA of each studio can still be maintained and pushed further without Lasseter, and brining him back immediately opens all future films up for further scrutiny.
With Lasseter's sabbatical ending on Monday, May 21, it won't be long before some official decision is made one way or the other. Whenever Disney makes that decision publicly known, we'll be sure to share that information, so stay tuned to Screen Rant for further updates.
Source: Wall Street Journal