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Disney head 'taking leave'

Just days before Pixar's "Coco" is set to hit theatres, Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees.

The boisterous, Hawaiian shirt-wearing personality behind some of the most beloved children's films of the past 30 years like "Toy Story" is the latest entertainment titan to be exposed for claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

In a vaguely worded memo obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable.

"I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form," Lasseter wrote. "No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected."

The Hollywood Reporter published a story that said an "unwanted advance" toward actress and writer Rashida Jones led to her departure from Pixar, where she had been working on the script for "Toy Story 4."

Jones called that allegation in the Reporter story untrue.

"We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances," Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack wrote in a joint statement. "That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behaviour that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences."



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