Een duizelingwekkende dosis cinema



Emma Thompson schrijft open brief aan nieuwe werkgever van John Lasseter

door Vertigo

Emma Thompson keerde onlangs de Skydance-animatiefilm Luck de rug toe omdat ze niet wou samenwerken met John Lasseter, de nieuwe baas van de studio. Hij moest Disney verlaten na klachten over seksuele intimidatie.

In een open brief aan Skydance Animation heeft Thompson haar beslissing toegelicht. “Ik vind het heel vreemd dat jullie iemand hebben aangenomen die zich herhaaldelijk heeft misdragen,” schreef ze. “Een invloedrijk bedrijf als Skydance zou net het goeie voorbeeld moeten geven.”

Vervolgens stelde Thompson een reeks vragen om aan te tonen waarom ze zich niet goed voelde bij de situatie. “Als John Lasseter zijn eigen bedrijf had opgericht,” schreef ze, “had elke werknemer de keuze gekregen om hem een tweede kans te geven of niet.”

“Skydance-medewerkers die hem geen tweede kans willen geven, kunnen ofwel blijven en zich ongemakkelijk voelen ofwel hun job verliezen. Zou John Lasseter zijn job niet moeten verliezen als ze hem geen tweede kans willen geven?”

“Ik besef dat het behandelen van vrouwen als lustobjecten niet van de ene dag op de andere zal veranderen,” besloot ze, “maar ik besef ook dat vrouwen het een halt moeten toeroepen of er komt niet snel genoeg verandering voor de generatie van mijn dochter.”

Lees de volledige brief hieronder:

As you know, I have pulled out of the production of “Luck” — to be directed by the very wonderful Alessandro Carloni. It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate.

I realise that the situation — involving as it does many human beings — is complicated. However these are the questions I would like to ask:

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”?

If a 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? The message seems to be, “I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.”

Much has been said about giving John Lasseter a “second chance.” But he is presumably being paid millions of dollars to receive that second chance. How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?

If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?

Skydance has revealed that no women received settlements from Pixar or Disney as a result of being harassed by John Lasseter. But given all the abuse that’s been heaped on women who have come forward to make accusations against powerful men, do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment? Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter DIDN’T receive money?

I hope these queries make the level of my discomfort understandable. I regret having to step away because I love Alessandro so much and think he is an incredibly creative director. But I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.

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 required to protect my daughter’s generation.

Yours most sincerely,

Emma Thompson

Bron: The Playlist