Washington: In what could be a major boost to the Time’s Up movement, Emma Thompson, on Tuesday, wrote a letter explaining why she decided to exit ‘Luck’ as John Lasseter takes over at Skydance Animation.
According to the letter, as cited by The Hollywood Reporter, Emma wrote to the producers, “It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate.”
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that representatives for Thompson confirmed that the letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times was from the actress.
Lasseter was named head of Skydance Animation by Skydance Media CEO David Ellison following his leave of absence from Disney in November 2017, after admitting he committed unspecified “missteps” that left some employees feeling “disrespected or uncomfortable.
Thompson in her letter acknowledged that the reasons for her departure were “complicated,” but argued, “If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘professionally’?”
The letter further continued, “If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist and his employment agreement?”
While Thompson allowed that Lasseter’s defenders insisted he deserved a second chance, she questioned him being paid millions of dollars to receive that second chance. “How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to give him that second chance?” Thompson then questioned.
In the letter, Thompson went on to ask as to why Skydance employees shouldn’t also have a say in whether Lasseter should receive a second chance. She also questioned how it was that Skydance could assert no women received settlements from Pixar or Disney as a result of being harassed by Lasseter.
Thompson wrote, “Do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment? Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter didn’t receive money?”
She added she regretted having to step away from a movie, but felt compelled to do so “during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.”