The Hollywood/media/political firestorm has reached a new level, with Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter announcing a voluntary leave of absence, CNN reported Tuesday.
"It's never easy to face your missteps, but it's the only way to learn from them. As a result, I've been giving a lot of thought to the leader I am today compared to the mentor, advocate and champion I want to be. It's been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent," he wrote.
Lasseter added that he wanted 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," he added.
According to Lasseter, he and Disney have agreed to "take some time away to reflect on how to move forward from here."
The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday published an exclusive takedown documenting "Lasseter's pattern of alleged misconduct detailed by Disney/Pixar insiders."
One longtime Pixar employee says Lasseter, who is well-known for hugging employees and others in the entertainment community, was also known by insiders for "grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes." Multiple sources say Lasseter is known to drink heavily at company social events such as premiere parties, but this source says the behavior was not always confined to such settings.
These allegations are more than vaguely familiar. It seems there are a lot of "grabby, kissy" executives in Hollywood. Apparently, there have always been.
Lasseter is only the latest in what has become a bona fide purge of Hollywood and media. I can't say it's a bad thing. But all wildfires burn out, and the question is, will the change be sustainable, or will it simply lead to a more transparent kind of debauchery?