Rashida Jones has denied reports she left Toy Story 4 over after “unwanted advances” from Pixar boss John Lasseter.
In a statement published in Variety, Jones and her writing partner Will McCormac explained: “We feel like we have been put in a position where we need to speak for ourselves. The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories. In this instance, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak for us.
Their statement continues: "We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.”
It’s the latest in the seemingly endless list of Hollywood sexual harassment scandals that have surfaced since Rose McGowan first called out Harvey Weinstein: Rashida Jones reportedly left Toy Story 4 after “unwanted advances” from Pixar boss John Lasseter.
Jones was signed on as a writer for the animated film, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but left the project in the wake of the encounter. She and her writing partner Will McCormack still appear on the credits for the film.
“One of the most powerful men in film,” according to the New York Post, Lasseter has a history of being physically inappropriate with his female staff, and has this week announced a six-month sabbatical in an all-staff email that apologises for his behaviour.
“I especially want to apologise to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape or form,” the email reads, as obtained by People.
A former Pixar employee, who requested to go unnamed, told The Hollywood Reporter that the statement “trivialised this behaviour.”
“To sum this up as unwanted hugs is belittling and demeaning,” they said. “If it was just unwanted hugs, he wouldn’t be stepping down.”