Former Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter, who "temporarily" exited his role after allegations of inappropriate behaviour came to light in 2017, has a new job.
According to Deadline, Lasseter has been hired to run Skydance Animation, a division of Skydance Media that plans to release its first feature in 2021.
In a statement, CEO of Skydance Media David Ellison claimed that the company did not enter into this decision "lightly."
"John has acknowledged and apologized for his mistakes and, during the past year away from the workplace, has endeavored to address and reform them," said Ellison of the high-profile hire.
The women of Hollywood are not happy. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Time's Up — the organization which seeks to "help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences" — criticized Skydance's decision.
Said the organization in a statement, "At a moment when we should be uplifting the many talented voices who are consistently underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, prominence and privilege to a man who has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace."
Lasseter exited his Disney role in November 2017, in a move that was original supposed to be temporary. In a memo to Disney employees published by THR, Lasseter said of his initial leave in 2017:
"It’s been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent. Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. 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. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected."
At the time, Disney announced Lasseter would take on a consulting role in June of 2018 before exiting the company entirely at the end of the year.
After accepting his new position at Skydance, Lasseter said in a statement:
"I have spent the last year away from the industry in deep reflection, learning how my actions unintentionally made colleagues uncomfortable, which I deeply regret and apologize for. It has been humbling, but I believe it will make me a better leader."
Lasseter is hardly the only man to land on his feet after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against him. Bryan Singer, the fired director of Bohemian Rhapsody who has multiple sexual assault accusations against him, was reportedly hired to helm a new comic book film Red Sonja. He is reportedly negotiating a paycheck of $10 million dollars. Michael Douglas, who was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee in January of 2018, just won a Golden Globe for Netflix sitcom The Kominsky Method. (Both Singer and Douglas have denied the accusations.) Louis C.K., who admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent, is now once again performing in comedy clubs.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Refinery29 has reached out to Skydance for comment.