The allegations of sexual harassment against former Pixar CCO John Lasseter are still pretty hard to wrap your head around. While it isn’t a shock that sexual harassment would occur in the workplace, you don’t expect to read about it in a place like Pixar. But it seems any environment can house such behavior and the stories about the atmosphere at Pixar under Lasseter continue to roll out.
The most recent comes from a Medium post from Cassandra Smolcic, a former graphic designer at the company who shared her post with Variety for a guest column titled, “How Pixar’s Open Sexism Ruined My Dream Job.” It’s not a fun read and paints a picture of a harsh reality in what should be the best job you could hope for in the creative world:
At Pixar, my female-ness was an undeniable impediment to my value, professional mobility, and sense of security within the company. The stress of working amidst such a blatantly sexist atmosphere took its toll, and was a major factor in forcing me out of the industry.
When I started at Pixar as an intern, I thought I’d landed my dream job. But my excitement was quickly tempered by a flood of warnings about Lasseter’s touchy-feely, boundary-crossing tendencies with female employees. It was devastating to learn, right from the start, that women were open targets for disrespect and harassment –– even at a world-renowned workplace in the most liberal-leaning city in the country. I was likewise told to steer clear of a particularly chauvinistic male lead in my department. Much like John, this man’s female targets had been reporting his vulgar, unprofessional behaviors for years, but his position and demeanor remained much the same.