Pixar Studio Co-Founder Might Return To Company Despite Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

Pixar Studios’ co-founder might return to the company despite facing sexual misconduct allegations including lengthy hugs and inappropriate touching, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.

John Lasseter, 61, the mastermind behind “Toy Story,” “Frozen,” and “Finding Nemo,” will possibly return to Pixar Studios after his six-month leave ends May 21, according to The Wall Street Journal. Disney’s Chief Executive Robert Iger will determine whether to allow Lasseter to return with less managerial power despite possibly facing backlash from the #MeToo movement.

Lasseter is accused of placing his hand on a woman’s thigh and giving out prolonged hugs to his female colleagues. Female employees claimed that they felt comfortable speaking out against the unnecessary touching since it was widely seen as part of his friendly personality, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“He’s very tactile in a weird way,” a former unnamed female executive told Deadline. “He would rub my leg in a meeting … It was creepy and weird. It got to the point where I wouldn’t sit next to him in a meeting, because it undermined everything I said.”

“I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form,” Lasseter said in November following the breaking of the sexual misconduct allegations. Disney employees also noted that since his leave they are unaware of his current whereabouts. (RELATED: Disney Producer Slammed With Latest Misconduct Accusations)

Lasseter also helped design Disney theme parks.
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