Pixar's Lasseter apologizes for 'missteps' after allegations of inappropriate behavior

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- He's one of the masterminds behind some of the most beloved children's movies like "Toy Story" and "Cars." Now, Pixar co-founder and Disney Animation Chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month sabbatical after admitting to making "missteps" that made some employees feel uncomfortable.

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In an internal email sent to workers Tuesday, he apologized, writing, "I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receving end of an unwatend hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected."

"He is a major figure in animation today," said animation professor Martha Gorzycki from San Francisco State, who met Lasseter while visiting Pixar.

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She says she never witnessed any inappropriate behavior but feels it's important he's taking time away. "I think it's sad more and more of these missteps and high profile people are having these issues but I think it's very important women are speaking out."

Professor Celine Shimizu, also with San Francisco State's School of Cinema, says sexism is rampant in the industry. She calls the news about Lasseter disappointing, but not surprising.
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