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How Was John Lasseter Hired By Skydance - Afrossip
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How Was John Lasseter Hired By Skydance

By Fabiola Antunes
In Celebs
January 10, 2019
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John Lasseter is seen here attending the Re-Opening of the Curran Theater with the Tony Award Winning Best Musical "Fun Home" on January 26, 2017 in San Francisco, California - Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images North America.Disney did not technically fire John Lasseter, but rather put him on sabbatical and paid him in full up until his contract expired on Dec. 31, 2018. Now he was hired by Skydance… but, with ironclad clauses in the contract that may prevent him to touch any girl at work again. The animation expert is seen here attending the Re-Opening of the Curran Theater with the Tony Award Winning Best Musical Fun Home on January 26, 2017 in San Francisco, California – Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images North America.

John Lasseter’s contract with Skydance Media contains provisions that make the former Pixar Animation chief financially responsible for any legal claims involving sexual harassment, according to multiple insiders. The following is a report by Brent Lang, Executive Editor of Film & Media of the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety.

The pact to bring John Lasseter in as head of the company’s animation division is said to include “ironclad” provisions that require the executive to not only pay for legal issues arising from future misbehavior, but also indemnify Skydance from any past misdeeds that had not come to light in the due diligence process conducted by an outside law firm. One person familiar with the findings reported that Disney never settled any harassment claims against Lasseter during his more than two decades-long tenure at Pixar, nor did Lasseter personally settle any claims.

In order to get the job at Skydance, John Lasseter met with an outside legal team to address allegations that he inappropriately touched or kissed former Pixar staffers. He was expected to give an exhaustive account of any behavior that was deemed unacceptable. The legal team conducted interviews with more than 20 people as they pieced together a report on Lasseter’s behavior, according to knowledgeable insiders. In a letter to staff on Wednesday, Skydance Media CEO David Ellison said senior management at the company had evaluated the report thoroughly.

“While we would never minimize anyone’s subjective views on behavior, we are confident after many substantive conversations with John, and as the investigation has affirmed, that his mistakes have been recognized,” Ellison wrote. “We are certain that John has learned valuable lessons and is ready to prove his capabilities as a leader and a colleague. And he has given his assurance that he will comport himself in a wholly professional manner that is the expectation of every Skydance colleague and partner.”

If John Lasseter is found to have lied to lawyers, he will be fired.

“David has been clear with John about what is expected in terms of his behavior,” said an insider. “If there is any daylight between them in terms of that, there will obviously be severe repercussions.”

Lasseter’s deal with Skydance, where he is expected to transform the media company into a major player, is a rich one. Not only does John Lasseter command a generous seven-figure salary, he receives performance incentives, in the form of bonuses, tied to the box office results of movies he produces.

Before John Lasseter was ousted from Disney and Pixar, Lasseter was considered to be a pioneer in the animation field. At Pixar, John Lasseter combined stories with commercial appeal, involving lovable robots, rodents with culinary skills, and loyal toys, while also encouraging his staff to take creative risks — one film, Wall-E, had only minimal dialogue. Another, Inside Out, documented the warring emotions that accompany adolescence.

Disney did not technically fire Lasseter, but rather put him on sabbatical and paid him in full up until his contract expired on Dec. 31, 2018.

© Variety

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