She won't work with disgraced Pixar director John Lasseter.
Emma Thompson has penned a scathing letter outlining the reasons why she has quit her latest project, an animated film called Luck.
It was revealed last month that the actress would no longer be voicing a character in the film – many assumed it was because the production company behind the film had hired John Lasseter.
Lasseter worked at Pixar for decades, directing films like Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Cars, but left the company last year after being accused of sexually harassing female employees.
In a letter published by the Los Angeles Times yesterday, Thompson questioned why the studio would choose to recruit Lasseter, given his “pattern of misconduct”.
“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’?” she writes.
If an man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist, and his employment agreement?
I don't think I am overstating this, but this letter from Emma Thompson on her departure from Luck is one the most significant moments in this movement. pic.twitter.com/RXkr7FXOkL
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) February 26, 2019
“The message seems to be, ‘I’m learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy’,” she continues, wondering how the employees of Skydance feel about Lasseter being given a second chance at their company.
Thompson says that although she regrets having to step away from the production, she “can only do what feels right”.
I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. 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 require to protect my daughter’s generation.
What a lady. Thompson was one of the first to speak out against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, and has long been at the forefront of the fight for equality in Hollywood.
Take for instance the time she threatened to quit the 2008 film Brideshead Revisited after the producers asked her co-star Hayley Atwell to lose weight:
I said to them, “If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that.” It’s evil what is happening and what’s going on there, and it’s getting worse.
The actress’ letter has been widely praised – the Time’s Up movement called it “what it looks like to walk the walk”.
We don’t deserve Emma Thompson, but we sure are glad she’s here.
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