The Emma Thompson Letter

Most excerpts are from this L.A.Times article on Emma Thompson’s letter dropping out of “Luck” because Skydance hired John Lasseter to head up Skydance Animation.

Thompson is an astonishingly-talented, highly respected actress, and Lasseter is credited with pretty much driving everything that led to modern computer-enhanced animation. See The Pixar Story on Netflix.

BACKSTORY

Lasseter resigned from Disney amid accusations of hugging women and “touching their legs” without permission. (Look for quote at bottom re: “leg touching.”

From the end of 2017 to the end of 2018 when his Disney contract expired, Lasseter was on leave. When his contract was up, he officially resigned. In January, Skydance brought him aboard.

Online Fox News (yeah, I’m surprised, too) carried: “Former Pixar chief John Lasseter’s new contract has sexual misconduct legal protection claims.” And it apparently does.

Which brings us up-to-date and brings me to disagree pretty strongly with almost everything Emma Thompson said, which I hate to do, because I adore her. But I think we are going down the K2 of Slippery Slopes if we don’t see why she’s not making sense.

L.A.TIMES ARTICLE:

“After announcing the hire, Ellison sent a long email to staff, noting that Lasseter was contractually obligated to behave professionally,…”

THOMPSON’S LETTER:

  • 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”?

You know why people hire black people and gay people when they’d rather only hire straight whites? Because they have to. If they think differently, should the black and gay folks refuse to work for them until they take a polygraph and prove they are … what exactly?  You want to punish this guy because maybe he’s thinking about doing what he’s not allowed to do?  Do you also want to fire the majority of men in the world from jobs where they work with women? Are you sure you want to do that?

And is it not possible for anyone with a Y chromosome to ever feel regret? Is every man corrupted by power a sociopath?

L.A. TIMES ARTICLE:

[Skydance] … convened a series of town halls in which Lasseter apologized for past behavior and asked to be given the chance to prove himself to his new staff.

THOMPSON’S LETTER:

  • Much has been said about giving John Lasseter a “second chance.” But he is presumably 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?

Nothing, I believe is the correct answer. Aren’t the employees being paid to write, design, keep the restrooms clean, animate, repair and do whatever else they do?

Srsly, Ms. Thompson, what are you talking about? Lasseter gets paid to do a job and he’s been pretty thoroughly vetted on this issue. If he was the mail room clerk would you allow him to be a mail room clerk again? What would satisfy you? Joblessness? Homelessness?

L.A. TIMES ARTICLE:

Meanwhile, Mireille Soria, president of Paramount Pictures Animation, with which Skydance has a distribution deal, took the highly unusual step of meeting with female employees to tell them that they could decline to work with Lasseter.

THOMPSON’S LETTER:

  • If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?

John Lasseter lost his Disney job when women complained. Disney didn’t fire the women, as far as I can find, they dumped Lasseter.  I’m not sure why this would be different.

Look. There are a lot of men and some women who should be summarily executed for what they have done to the powerless—to children, to women, to the elderly, disabled,  and more. My own Me, Too can be found on this site under the IMO label and I only recounted a small portion of a lifetime of dealing with these things.

But Lasseter’s real crime, according to Thompson is “… made women … feel undervalued and disrespected for decades.”

So he shouldn’t be allowed to work in his profession. Ever. Again.

I guess.



-THOMPSON’S LETTER IS HERE

 

-Reference to “leg touching:

“He’s very tactile in a weird way,” a former female executive told Deadline. “He would rub my leg in a meeting . . . It was creepy and weird. It got to the point where I wouldn’t sit next to him in a meeting …” (from Vanity Fair)

 

 

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