Pixar veterans Darla K. Anderson and Lee Unkrich told reporters backstage that the experience of working on “Coco,” which won the Golden Globe for animated film, has helped the company move forward after the jolt of allegations of inappropriate behavior leveled against Pixar stalwart John Lasseter.
In November, Lasseter went on a six-month leave from Disney after he was accused by multiple women of inappropriate conduct in the workplace. Lasseter is one of dozens of high-powered men who have been so accused in the past few months, sparking the Time’s Up initiative to help women across the country who face workplace harassment.
“We all can improve. We can all be better,” Unkrich said. “And at Pixar, we have been taking steps and we will continue to move towards making it an even better place for people to create art.”
For Anderson, it was important to be “in solidarity with tonight’s movement,” she said of Time’s Up, which was prominent throughout Sunday’s ceremony. “We have been looking at a lot of things and making our environment as safe as possible and with as much integrity as possible.”
“Coco” revolved around the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos. To ensure cultural authenticity in the telling of the story, producer Anderson and director Unkrich brought in a host of experts and creatives with a vast range of experience. The disparate influences on the development of the production made for a much stronger movie — and that’s a lesson that Pixar is taking to heart.
“From the very beginning, we tried to create an environment that welcomed as many diverse voices as possible, not only in the consultants we brought in, but in the crew we assembled,” Unkrich said. “It was a very diverse crew and we’re proud of that, and we believe that all of those voices really did help make the movie as successful as it was. Moving ahead, we’re learning from the lessons of what we did on ‘Coco.'”