It seems Toy Story 4 is in need of new screenwriters.
The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Rashida Jones walked out on the animated sequel after John Lasseter, the renown head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, made an “unwanted advance.” This news comes just as Lasseter takes a six-month leave of absence because of unspecified “missteps.”
Disney’s official statement on the matter failed to mention specifics, but the allegations against John Lasseter are beginning to mount. At the time of writing, Jones has not responded to her alleged incident with the Pixar co-founder, though it should be noted that she’s still listed as Toy Story 4‘s screenwriter. Her writing partner, Will McCormack, also left the project early on in a show of solidarity.
As the director of both Toy Story and its beloved sequel, these accusations are shocking and deeply troubling, and subsequent reports have alleged that young women working at Pixar had known of John Lasseter’s inappropriate behavior for nigh on 20 years.
Meanwhile, the director’s official statement reads as so:
I have always wanted our animation studios to be places where creators can explore their vision with the support and collaboration of other gifted animators and storytellers. This kind of creative culture takes constant vigilance to maintain. It’s built on trust and respect, and it becomes fragile if any members of the team don’t feel valued. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen; and I now believe I have been falling short in this regard.
I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them.
Much like the Kevin Spacey scandal, the alleged victims claim that Pixar’s “sexist and misogynistic” work environment allowed a cult of personality to form around John Lasseter, and we fully expect more details to arise over the coming days.
Meanwhile, Toy Story 4 is still slated for release in June of 2019. Closer to home, the creative minds of Pixar are currently preparing The Incredibles 2, which has already smashed through a huge record ahead of its arrival in 2018.