Hollywood actors, producers, and stars aren’t the only ones to find themselves in the middle of sexual harassment scandals these days. In a recent article published by Variety, a former female graphic designer at Pixar Animation says the culture at the workplace with “rife with sexual harassment and prohibitive to the advancement of women” while she was working in the studio from 2009 to 2014. The woman, Cassandra Smolcic, accused former chief creative officer John Lasseter of making sexual comments and staring at her inappropriately over the years. Unfortunately, this is nothing new among the male-dominated field of graphic design. Smolcic also claims another male department head physically cornered her and made inappropriate comments during a 2009 incident.
Smolcic’s accusations are not an isolated event for Pixar, who has come under fire over the years for comments and actions made by high-level employees. For example, a Pixar director compared one of his popular films to a “big-titted blonde who was difficult to nail down), and Lasseter often found himself in hot water for objectifying female employees and parading them on stage during company parties. In addition to these specific accusations, Smolcic noted the entire company culture at Pixar is unsupportive of women and even tried to sabotage them as they moved into higher positions. This is yet another unfortunate example of sexual harassment in the workplace and how management teams have brushed incidents like the above under the rug.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace a Continued Problem
In the case of Pixar, numerous past employees have come forward saying that internal management teams were “well known for cleaning up the messes of powerful male superiors.” The Variety article written by Smolcic notes that women leaders were “often caught in no-win situations, forced to suppress their abilities – in order to make men feel more comfortable – or take charge and risk being labeled as ‘difficult’ or ‘unlikable.’” As of writing, Pixar has not made a comment regarding Smolcic’s accusations or thoughts on the workplace culture.
One step in the right direction, Pixar announced in June that Lasseter would not be returning to the company following his self-imposed ‘hiatus’ after accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment from female employees. At Janovsky & Associates, we understand how sensitive these types of cases can be. Attorney Janovsky has been a strong force in the #MeToo movement, representing victims of sexual harassment in the workplace throughout Dallas. If you have been involved in a sexual harassment case or if someone in the workplace has treated you inappropriately, please contact Janovsky & Associates today. As a leading Dallas sexual harassment lawyer, Attorney Janovsky has the tools, resources, and dedication to fight for your rights and ensure those responsible are held accountable. Thanks to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, sexual harassment in the workplace is no longer tolerable and we will fight alongside you until justice is served.