Incoming Skydance Animation head John Lasseter was grilled for over an hour and a half on Monday by concerned staffers who wanted to know more details about the allegations of sexual harassment that cost him his job Disney. The animation guru also fielded blunt questions, many of them from younger female employees on the team, about how he will behave in his new role, an individual with knowledge of the meeting said.
The town hall meeting at Skydance Animation’s Mid-City Los Angeles headquarters was aimed at addressing discomfort and concerns. Employees came armed with questions and demanded answers. Lasseter complied, said the source, and admitted to wrongdoing, committing himself to proving he had reformed.
The conversation was long and “heavy” in tone. As the meeting disbanded, many employees, who were on their feet for its duration, appeared exhausted. It was unclear if Lasseter had been specific enough about what lessons he had learned during his imposed sabbatical and how he intended to earn back the trust of the animation community.
Lasseter’s turn at bat addressing the company comes on the heels of Skydance CEO David Ellison, who was grilled last Thursday over his controversial decision to bring on the animation guru.
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In that town hall, Ellison was on the receiving end of several pointed questions from staff, who demanded that he walk them through his thought process when it came to hiring Lasseter. They were particularly interested in learning about whether or not female members of the senior leadership, which includes chief marketing officer Anne Globe and chief creative fficer Dana Goldberg, had signed off on the decision. Ellison said they were on board with the move.
Some animators also expressed concern that bringing Lasseter on board would hurt Skydance’s ability to attract creative talent. Ellison urged them to give Lasseter time to prove that he has reformed and counseled patience. He also stressed that Lasseter’s employment agreement clearly states that he will be fired if he engages in future inappropriate conduct or if past misdeeds that he has not shared come to light.