Since the Harvey Weinstein story broke in the fall of 2017, a steady stream of powerful (and often famous) men have been accused of sexual misconduct. But the era of #MeToo has also seen a cycle of redemption and comebacks for some of these accused men. Louis C.K. is back doing standup. Ousted CBS chief Les Moonves is already working on a new venture. Brett Kavanaugh is sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, Emma Thompson has reportedly quit an upcoming film project over the hiring of one such man: John Lasseter, the former chief creative officer of Pixar. Allegations about Lasseter first became public knowledge in November 2017, though claims of a “whisper network” surrounding him existed for much longer, after he was accused of “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.”
Lasseter apologized for his behavior, saying, “I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them.” Then, this January, he was hired as the head of Skydance Animation, which is set to produce the film Luck.
That’s where Emma Thompson comes in. The actress was slated to voice one of the characters, Variety confirms that she dropped out of the project after Lasseter’s hiring. Skydance has not commented on the departure.
She may not have released a big statement about this decision, but it’s major that a Hollywood A-lister of Thompson’s caliber is walking away from what is likely a lucrative deal in response to the hiring of a man with sexual harassment allegations. This is one powerful way allies in positions of influence can show support for the survivors who have been brave enough to speak out about inappropriate behavior.
We hope to see more of that in 2019.