Rashida Jones has denied that her departure from Toy Story 4 was due to an "unwanted advance" from Pixar's John Lasseter.
With the news that Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence from his position as chief of both Walt Disney Animation and the Up studio over alleged misconduct, The Hollywood Reporter ran a story stating this was the reason that Jones left the film.
In a joint statement issued to the New York Times, Jones and co-writer Will McCormack have explicitly stated those reports are incorrect, and explained the real reason for their decision.
"We feel like we have been put in a position where we need to speak for ourselves," the statement reads. "The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories.
"In this instance, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak for us. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue.
"That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences."
"There is so much talent at Pixar and we remain enormous fans of their films but it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice, as is demonstrated by their director demographics.
"Out of the 20 films in the company's history, only one was co-directed by a woman and only one was directed by a person of color.
"We encourage Pixar to be leaders in bolstering, hiring, and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered."
Lasseter, who announced earlier this year that he had stepped down as co-director of Toy Story 4, issued a statement about his temporary absence that said: "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.
"No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected."
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