Believe it or not, we are approaching the end of John Lasseter’s six-month leave of absence from Disney. Following allegations of inappropriate behavior, described as “missteps” by Lasseter, the creative mind behind Pixar stepped down for an extended period of time. However, as the six-month leave of absence comes to an end on Monday, Disney is now thinking about welcoming Lasseter back to the fold, albeit in a much lesser capacity.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney is now deciding how to bring Lasseter back to the company. The discussed “new role” for Lasseter would have his stripped of much of his managerial power but give him some creative influence, according to a source. While there have been no mentions publicly about any new roles for Lasseter at the company, the filmmaker’s track record puts Disney in a bit of a bind, when deciding what to do.
John Lasseter was the Chief Creative Officer over at Pixar, who wrote and directed classic films such as “Toy Story (1 and 2)” “A Bug’s Life,” and “Cars.” He’s also responsible for writing “Toy Story 3,” and was working on “Toy Story 4” with Rashida Jones. However, Jones left the project, citing “creative differences,” but was later to have been involved in one of the alleged incidents. Overall, Lasseter is seen as one of the creative driving forces behind Pixar, which is clearly one of Disney’s most bankable brands.
It’ll be interesting to see how Disney proceeds with the filmmaker. With #MeToo only picking up steam in the previous six months since the news of the allegations broke, there’s a lot of public pressure on companies such as Disney to continue to “do the right thing.” We’ve seen the fallout of the movement with industry types like Harvey Weinstein being completely taken down by allegations. Needless to say, if Disney invited Lasseter back to the fold, they’ll have a bit of a publicity problem.
The WSJ report says that it’s unclear when a decision will be made about Lasseter’s future with the company. So even though his six-month sabbatical is over on Monday, we may have to wait longer to learn the fate of Pixar’s boss.