John Lasseter, the creative chief of animation from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studio, announced on Tuesday, November 21, that he will leave his position for the next six months.

According to an email sent to staff members, Lasseter said that the purpose of his absence is to take a better care of himself, get inspired, recharge, and, ultimately return with insight and perspective."I need to be a better leader that you deserve," completed the email.

The co-founder of Pixar also added an apology to anyone who was on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture and felt he crossed a line.

Shortly after the email was public, The Hollywood Reporter published a story about misconduct by the executive.

A spokesperson from Disney said that they fully support Lasseter's decision to be absent for awhile. In the statement released by the company, they are committed to maintaining an environment where all employees are respected and empowered to do their work.

Misconduct allegations

According to sources, that will remain unnamed for their protection, connected to The Hollywood Reporter, John Lasseter made more than a few unwanted advances towards people in the company.

Many of the sources confirmed that he is well-known for hugging staff members and others in the entertainment industry, with insiders knowing about his groping, kissing and making comments about physical attributes.

Another source said that during a meeting that occurred 15 years ago, a woman seated next to Lasseter had to assume a defensive posture, trying to avoid that his hand, that was moving around her knee in case it went any further.

To a former Pixar employee, Lasseter's email is "trivializing this behavior." To this source, sum up as unwanted hugs are belittling and demeaning the allegations.

"If it was just unwanted hugs, he wouldn't be stepping down," completed the statement.


Pixar began as part of the graphics group at Lucasfilm. John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were responsible for popularizing the animating in GCI. The first animated film released by the company was "Toy Story," in 1995.

The studio, that has won eight Academy Awards for Animated Feature Film and one special achievement, is responsible for movies like "A Bug's Life," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles, " Cars," "Up," "WALL-E," "Inside Out", "The Good Dinosaur," and, most recently, "Coco," which the release will happen this week in the U.S.

So far, Pixar has earned more than $6 billion at domestic box office.