John Lasseter’s return divides animators in Hollywood

Washington: American animator John Lasseter, who stepped down as Disney Animation’s chief creative officer months ago, has been hired as the head of Skydance Animation.

The news came more than a year after Lasseter took a leave of absence from Disney following an admission that he committed unspecified “missteps” and brought the small and hyper-connected animation industry to a standstill.

However, many are not happy with the decision to bring him on board to the studio, including Paramount, which owns Skydance as he lost his job in the midst of the #MeToo movement.

“People are shell-shocked,” Megan Dong, an animation director told The Hollywood Reporter. “As long as he is there, I wouldn’t work at Skydance. And every female artist or creative who I’ve spoken to today has said they would never work at Skydance as long as he is involved. It’s just a terrible message to send to women.”

They also added that they see his hiring as a sign that the cultural shift they were hoping for in their industry had stalled.

His major projects include blockbusters like “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc.,” “The Incredibles,” and “Coco.”

One of the founders of Pixar, Lasseter has won two Oscars, one being for his work on “Toy Story.” Under his cognizance, WDA has picked up three wins, most recently with 2016’s ‘Zootopia’.