David Ellison and his company Skydance Media contacted the advocacy group Time & # 39; s Up before hiring John Lasseter, Variety learned. The openings were made in November through an intermediary. An insider depicted them as a collection of information in nature. Lasseter was ousted from his work with Pixar and oversaw the Disney animation empire after being accused of inappropriately touching employees and kissing employees without their consent.
The skydance wanted to get the thoughts of Time & # 39; s Up on how it would be the rehabilitation of a figure accused of abusing his power. However, sources close to Time & # 39; s Up said that the organization became uncomfortable because they believed that Skydance was looking for support from the Lasseter rental group.
In addition, Skydance's leadership, including Ellison, met a consultant recommended by Time & # 39; s Up to talk about the Lasseter rental. Skydance hopes to continue working with the consultant after Lasseter starts working in the company in the coming days.
Skydance made a concerted effort to include the thoughts of the Time & # 39; s Up team in creating excuses from the animation guru for his alleged misconduct at work while at Disney. Lasseter's apologies were intended to reflect the core values enunciated in the declaration and materials of Time's mission, such as the recognition of intrinsic unconscious privileges and behaviors that cause unease in the workplace.
"I am grateful to David and to the Skydance team and I know that I have been given a huge responsibility, it is a distinct privilege that I will like, I have spent the last year away from the industry in deep reflection, learning how my actions unintentionally made my colleagues uncomfortable, which I deeply regret and apologize for, and it was humiliating, but I think it will make me a better leader, "read Lasseter's statement.
The apology was intended, he said the insider, to reflect ideas of remorse, regrets and restitution. Lasseter has privately expressed to the Skydance team that it is committed to working to achieve gender equality when it comes to the animation division's staff. The growing representation of women in the workforce is one of the main causes of the group as well as supporting victims of sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond.
Time & # 39; s Up, however, did not see a significant amount of reflection or transparency around an investigation Ellison said he led Lasseter's allegations to Disney. While Skydance conducted an independent investigation into Lasseter's alleged misdeeds, an individual near Time & # 39; s Up said the group believed that the company was not sufficiently transparent about its findings.
At the time, Time & # 39; s Up criticized the move and called the decision to bring on board Lasseter who "supports and perpetuates a broken system that allows powerful men to act without consequences. in which we should raise the many talented voices that are constantly underrepresented, Skydance Media is providing another position of power, pre-eminence and privilege to a man who has been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. "
Time & # 39; s Up was founded in 2017 by some famous Hollywood actors including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Nicole Kidman, Constance Wu and Shonda Rhimes. The group formed in the wake of a series of sex-harassment scandals involving power figures and celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and Dustin Hoffman.
Women in Film, another watchdog in the industry who seeks gender equality and promotes workplace safety for women, had the same questions about the Skydance probe in the allegations.
"For women in this industry feeling safe, we need more transparency than the above statement and we need to know what the company intends to do to ensure that safety." Saying that Skydance has led a & Independent investigation and then proceeded to the recruitment of Lasseter, intend to suggest that they are taking it in spite of the numerous stories of women and colleagues? We think that people can learn and change, and we do not see the time of men that shape it, but true repair requires transparency, "the group said.
Skydance employees also expressed frustration and concern over Lasseter's rental. At a town hall meeting on Wednesday, staff members criticized Ellison for his decision to hire Lasseter and expressed concern that the best talent would be discouraged from working with the firm because of his reputation. During the meeting, Ellison asked employees to give Lasseter time to prove that he had reformed and learned from his mistakes.
A Skydance representative did not comment on the subject. Time & # 39; s Up referred to their statement on Lasseter's rental.