Rashida Jones Reveals Why She Left ‘Toy Story 4,’ Denies It Was Due to John Lasseter
Yesterday, Pixar and Disney Animation head John Lasseter announced he was taking a leave of absence in light of “missteps.” Reports from The Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair soon after revealed that those missteps were allegations of sexual misconduct made against the animator. The pieces detailed various stories from women who claim the famed animator and filmmaker had made unwanted advances, from hugging to grabbing and making various comments. One familiar name showed up in the THR piece: actress and writer Rashida Jones.
The THR story alleged that Jones and her former Toy Story 4 writing partner, Will McCormack, had departed the project due to an “unwanted advance” from Lasseter. The two have since issued a statement to the New York Times and denied that a rumored advance from Lasseter had anything to do with their leaving the film:
The breakneck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.
Those philosophical differences have to do with Pixar’s lack of diversity. Jones and McCormack told the Times that the real reason behind their exit was the animation studio’s general treatment of women and minority writers. “There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films,” the two said in their statement. “However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”
As the Times notes, only one out of Pixar’s 19 feature films have been credited with a female director, Brave‘s Branda Chapman who was fired midway through production. And only one Pixar film has a credited director of color, Coco co-director by Adrian Molina.
Jones and McCormack ended their statement by saying they hope Pixar begins bringing on more diverse voices in the future. “We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders.”