John Lasseter’s Skydance Hire Sends Hollywood Executives, Animation Insiders Reeling

Variety | 1/9/2019 | Matt Donnelly
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Hollywood was jolted Wednesday by former Pixar honcho John Lasseter’s hire for the top job at Skydance Animation, blindsiding the studio’s filmmaking partners, employees and the industry at large.

One current Skydance staffer expressed “disappointment” to Variety over CEO David Ellison’s decision to bring on Lasseter, who was put on leave from his post atop Pixar Animation Studios and Disney Animation after workplace misconduct allegations surfaced last year. Lasseter apologized for “missteps” at the time and his consulting deal was not renewed by Disney when it expired at the end of 2018.

Lasseter - Baggage - Form - Accusations - Staffer

Lasseter’s “baggage” in the form of those accusations are disheartening, said the staffer, speaking on the condition of anonymity. It also stings that Lasseter, who has had a lengthy and storied career, doesn’t particularly need the job, the insider added. Many talented and underrepresented people in the animation industry were capable, they said.

Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos and his executive team at the studio, which has an exclusive deal to co-finance, market and distribute Skydance films, were shocked by the announcement Thursday, several individuals said. Paramount will be responsible for putting the Skydance Animation movies, now under the control of Lasseter, into theaters.

Time - Up - Women - Film - Slam

Time's Up, Women in Film Slam Skydance for Hiring John Lasseter: It 'Endorses and Perpetuates a Broken System'

“He’s a talented guy but, really, has there been any contrition?” wondered one film executive who declined to be identified.

November - Lasseter - Apology

In November 2017, before he took a sabbatical, Lasseter publicly expressed an apology...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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