Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter announced during a press conference at Cannes Monday that the animation studio has plans to increase its representation of diverse characters on screen.
As first reported by Variety, a reporter asked Lasseter whether or not Pixar would cast a black protagonist in a film.
“[To have more female and ethnic characters has] grown in importance over time,” he said. “As you’ll see in future films, we’re really paying attention to that.”
Entertainment Weekly reports Lasseter’s reference most likely pertained to the studio’s upcoming film Moana, which focuses on a Polynesian princess.
“It’s pretty spectacular,” he said. “I guess most people think of fairytales as European fairytales. We’re trying to reach out and find origins of legends all over the world.”
Lasseter also revealed that the industry was predominantly employed by men when he first began a career in animation, but that’s changing, according to him.
“We have been seeing more and more women, and more and more people from all over the world starting to work with it,” Lasseter continued. “That’s exciting. I think it will get reflected in the characters.”
Lasseter’s statements come at a time when Hollywood’s lack of diversity, both on and off the screen, has reached heightened levels of criticism.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the national ACLU Women’s Rights Project announced one week ago they will ask federal and California civil rights agencies to investigate a “systemic failure” to hire female directors in film and television.