Actress refuses to work with ex-Disney animation chief over harassment accusations

Thompson has quit an anticipated film produced by California’s Skydance studios. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 February 2019

Actress refuses to work with ex-Disney animation chief over harassment accusations

  • The two-time Oscar winner was to voice one of the characters in the animated film “Luck”
  • She dropped the project when Skydance announced in early January that it recruited Lasseter who was accused of sexual harrasment

LOS ANGELES: British actress Emma Thompson has quit an anticipated film produced by California’s Skydance studios because it hired former Disney creative director John Lasseter, who is accused of sexual harassment, her publicist told AFP Tuesday.
The two-time Oscar winner was to voice one of the characters in the much touted animated film “Luck,” and had already begun recordings, according to the entertainment news site Variety.
But she dropped the project when Skydance announced in early January that it recruited Lasseter, 62, who was forced to leave his position at Disney as animation chief after acknowledging he made staff feel uncomfortable with unwanted hugs.
Thompson wrote to management at the studio to protest the decision to bring on Lasseter, who is famous for transforming Pixar from a small graphics department into the most successful animation studio in the world.
The 59-year-old performer then forwarded her letter to the Los Angeles Times, which published it in full.
“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,” Thompson wrote in the note, whose authenticity her publicist confirmed to AFP.
“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’?“
“I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight,” she continued. “Or in a year.”
“But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.”


No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’

Updated 20 January 2021

No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’

  • Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison
OKLAHOMA CITY: One name missing in President Donald Trump’s flurry of pardons is “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.
His team was so confident in a pardon that they’d readied a celebratory limousine and a hair and wardrobe team to whisk away the zookeeper-turned-reality-TV-star, who is now serving a 22-year federal prison sentence in Texas. But he wasn’t on the list announced Wednesday morning.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed.
Maldonado-Passage, who has maintained his innocence, was also sentenced for killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. A jury convicted him in April 2019.
In his pardon application filed in September, Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys argued that he was “railroaded and betrayed” by others. Maldonado-Passage, 57, is scheduled to be released from custody in 2037, but his attorneys said in the application that “he will likely die in prison” because of health concerns.
Maldonado-Passage’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Wednesday.
The blond mullet-wearing zookeeper, known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was prominently featured in the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”