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Rashida Jones clarifies her reason for stepping away from Toy Story 4

11.22.2017

PARKS AND RECREATION alum Rashida Jones has recently come forward to clarify the reason for her exit from Pixar's TOY STORY 4 in the wake of John Lasseter, the animation studio’s chief creative officer, taking a formal leave of absence due to unspecified “missteps.”

The update from Jones comes after her writing partner, Will McCormack, refuted a story posted by The Hollywood Reporter which claimed that Jones left the project due to Lasseter making "an unwanted advance" toward her. Since the report, Rashida has stated that the real reason she's left TOY STORY 4 is due to the company's treatment of female and minority voices.

“The breakneck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible,” Jones and McCormack’s said in a joint statement. “We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. 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. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”

While drawing attention to the fact that only one of the 20 films in Pixar's library was co-directed by a woman and only one was directed by a person of color, Jones and McCormack are advising 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.”

With the combination of Jones and McCormack leaving their roles as screenwriters for TOY STORY 4 and Lasseter's abrupt but neccessary leave of absence from the company, it sounds as if the toys-to-life sequel has found itself in a tight spot. While I'm certain that Pixar is already hard at work at finding the writing duo's replacement, we could be looking at the announcement of another delay for TOY STORY 4 in the coming days. Stay close for updates on this situation as the news comes in.

For the moment, TOY STORY 4 is sceduled to make its debut on June 21, 2019.

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