Dame Emma Thompson (yes, she’s a Dame, just like Judi Dench and Helen Mirren) has wowed us for years. What’s your favorite Emma moment? The Oscar wins for her performance in Howards End and her screenplay adaptation of Sense and Sensibility? Her role in the Harry Potter or Nanny McPhee films? Or how about her pitch-perfect, heartbreaking performance in Love Actually? And can we mention that she’s a human-rights and environmental activist, an author, and a charming talk-show guest? Oh, and how about that this week she proved that she’s a crusader for not working with assholes either?
Emma had started work on an animated film called Luck, recording the voice for a character, when—as luck would have it—the studio, Skydance, brought in one John Lasseter to a high-powered role leading the division.
Emma Thompson: No Tolerance
If Skydance is hoping to attract great talent by hiring Lasseter with his resume full of hits, they may wind up with exactly the opposite.
Lasseter used to work at Disney, where he directed mega-hits like Toy Story and Cars and produced dozens of blockbusters, too, but he left after accusations of sexual harassment were aired. The complaints against him noted a culture of “strip clubs and close hugs.” Lasseter admitted to “missteps” while at his previous job and offered an apology to those who felt “disrespected or uncomfortable” with his behavior.
But his fresh start at Skydance clearly didn’t sit well with Emma. The website Deadline confirmed that Lasseter’s joining the team was the impetus for her walking away from her role. That’s one way to send a major thumbs-down message to a studio on its choice of leadership. If Skydance is hoping to attract great talent by hiring Lasseter with his resume full of hits, they may wind up with exactly the opposite. Thompson sets a shining example of being true to your convictions—just the latest thing we love about her.