by Cayce McCarthy. Arts and Entertainment blogger.
Pixar is a brand that belongs to the Disney empire. They’ve created many wonderful films that captured our imaginations and heart, but Disney is far from perfect. Disney has a dark side to it that the average person barely acknowledges. For one thing, Disney isn’t the best with cultural representation and has had past issues of racism. Not to mention how power hungry and greedy they can get as well.
Pixar is better at cultural representation, but the company is plagued with sexism. In fact, Cassandra Smolcic has recently released her own personal experience with the sexism in the animation field at Pixar. Smolcic worked for Pixar from 2009 to 2014 before she finally left the company. Smolcic worked under the reign of John Lasseter who has been recently fired for his blatant sexual harassment and conduct toward any female employee from internships to vets. Smolcic reports when she first started her internship how she was warned to try her best to stay clear of Lasseter.
She learned firsthand and from others how inappropriate Lasseter treated the females of the field by making passes at them, not taking their work seriously, and even giving them unwanted physical contact. Smolcic opens up on how protected Lasseter was no matter how many times he mistreated the female employees and how even speaking out about it would end a woman’s career. When Smolcic received her employee review she was put down for coming up with too many ideas and asking too many questions, two qualities that her male supervisor and friend deemed if she were male those would have been positives. Sexism was even apparent when the female director Brenda Chapman was fired from working on Brave and the project was handed over to a man which gave compelling evidence of the company’s gender bias.
What’s worse is that some of these themes have been carried into the characters of Pixar films where some female characters have little to no voice of their own. Even female leads were known as bitches who had to repress their high talents just to make the men feel more comfortable with their lack of talents. Even young female students who go to or want to go to animation schools have realized animation is a male-dominated career. One of these young animators who’s discussed this topic briefly is YouTuber Rebecca Parham from Let Me Explain Studios. Thankfully there is good news with the fact that Lasseter has now been replaced with Jennifer Lee at Disney and Pete Docter at Pixar who will hopefully pull Pixar away from sexism.