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Rashida Jones cut ties with Pixar because of its mistreatment of women and people of color—not because of unwanted advances by Pixar co-founder John Lasseter—according to a statement published in the New York Times.
The statement addressed claims published in the Hollywood Reporter, which reported that sources told the publication Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack quit working on Toy Story 4 because Lasseter made an unwanted advance.
Rashida Jones says she did not leave Pixar due to unwanted advances from Lasseter. Rather, she says in statement (below) to the NYT, her exit was about a workplace where women and people of color were not valued. pic.twitter.com/ANkmKgsS9z— Brooks Barnes (@brooksbarnesNYT) November 22, 2017
“The breakneck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible,” they said. “There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”
Supporters on Twitter applauded the writers for speaking the truth and calling out false reporting.
Jones and McCormack pointed out that out of the 20 films produced by Pixar to date, “only one was co-directed by a woman and only one was directed by a person of color.” The duo concluded the statement by encouraging Pixar to do better.
“We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders,” they said. “We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.