To protect staffers from John Lasseter’s alleged predations, the Pixar chief was assigned a “handler to ensure he would not engage in inappropriate conduct with women, two people with direct knowledge of the situation,” told Deadline.
Deadline believes this is “evidence Disney may well have been aware of troubling behavior on the part of the digital animation pioneer.”
Lasseter is now on a six-month leave of absence following reports of inappropriate touching. The Deadline report, however, opens up a whole new series of allegations and, if true, undoubtedly proves the enabling of Lasseter was institutionalized within the Walt Disney Company:
At the animator’s insistence, Disney flew the women to a New York event. One Pixar employee became the designated escort as Lasseter took the young women out drinking one night, and to a party the following evening.
“He was inappropriate with the fairies,” said the former Pixar executive, referring to physical contact that included long hugs. “We had to have someone make sure he wasn’t alone with them.”
Another incident involved Lasseter pulling a “female executive tightly to him and move his hands over her body.” Witnesses claim the woman was “pissed” and said “being groped by John Lasseter” was not in her job description.
In 2010, Lasseter was also seen “passionately kissing a female subordinate.” This specific incident resulted in “high-level discussions about Lasseter’s conduct” within the Disney corporation. Apparently, this is when Lasseter was assigned a corporate handler.
Although Disney owned Miramax during the time when much of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged predations reportedly occurred (including a 1997 settlement with Rose McGowan who claims Weinstein raped her); and although Disney owned ABC News while the disgraced Mark Halperin is alleged to have preyed on numerous female subordinates, this is the first news report I am aware of that has had the courage to connect the powerful, left-wing company to the enabling of the countless allegations of sexual abuse that occurred under its corporate umbrella.
Deadline deserves some real credit for this.