John Lasseter, one of the founders of animation studio Pixar, is ‘unlikely to return’ after a leave of absence following accusations of sexual misconduct.
Lasseter took a six month ‘sabbatical’ from the Disney-owned company in November.
He admitted to ‘missteps’ in his behaviour, but women at the studio had long expressed concerns about his conduct.
One insider told The Hollywood Reporter that he had a reputation for ‘grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes’ that was well known among employees.
It was also claimed that he would drink heavily at company social events, and would sometimes have to be chaperoned by other Pixar employees to temper his behaviour.
The company is set to hold a ‘day of listening’ with staff, in order to discuss workplace concerns.
However, another source told THR that the ‘real reason behind this day of listening is to take the temperature of staff to see how likely it is that Lasseter can come back’, adding that it was unlikely.
“That’s a stretch to put somebody back in charge of animation at such a storied brand as Disney after the revelations of his behavior,” the source added.
Lasseter was among a handful of figures who were key to bringing the studio to prominence in the world of animation, and as the time of taking his leave from the company was its chief creative officer.
He oversaw all of Pixar’s movies, and directed hits including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Cars.