Ah, Hollywood. That place where powerful men can harass and abuse whomever they want free of consequences! Such has been the case recently for a handful of those accused of sexual abuse or misconduct, including John Lasseter, who was handed a brand-new gig heading up emerging studio Skydance Animation hardly six months after being pushed out at Pixar and Disney. Clearly, the folks over at Skydance thought Lasseter, who equated the multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him with giving “unwanted hugs,” thought hiring a guy accused of non-consensually “grabbing” and “kissing” women was no biggie, so why not give him a second chance? Thankfully, hero Emma Thompson is having none of it.
The British actress has reportedly dropped out of a role in the studio’s upcoming movie Luck. Even though her casting wasn’t previously announced, Thompson had been recording voicework for the film about a rivalry between a good luck organization and a bad luck one. (Of course, being the beacon of light and wisdom that she is, Thompson was voicing the head of the good luck clan.) According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thompson quietly left the project due to concerns over working with Lasseter, who was hired to run the animation studio last month.
The decision is of little surprise given that Thompson has been a vocal supporter of the MeToo movement, speaking in interviews about the prevalence of harassment and abuse across the film industry following Harvey Weinstein’s downfall. Her interview with BBC News about the need to talk about our present moment’s “crisis of extreme masculinity” is a particularly good watch if you have a few moments and want further evidence that Thompson is a true treasure.
Lasseter is overseeing two of the projects Skydance Animation had in the works before his hire including Luck, which is set for a 2021 release and will be directed by Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3), and Split, a project about a magical teen to be directed by Shrek’s Vicky Jenson and penned by Linda Woolverton. With Thompson exiting the project over Lasseter, this could signal a very rocky start for the fledgling studio. Here’s a thought: maybe hire someone whose behavior hasn’t prompted women to sit in a certain position to avoid getting touched at work?