Disney Animation, Pixar chief John Lasseter taking leave

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pixar co-founder and Walt Disney Animation chief John Lasseter is taking a six-month leave of absence citing "missteps" with employees.

In a vaguely-worded memo obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, Lasseter says he knows he has made some employees feel disrespected and uncomfortable. He apologized to anyone who has received an unwanted hug or gesture and to those he has "let down."

A Disney spokesperson says the company is committed to maintaining a respectful work environment and fully supports Lasseter's sabbatical.

Lasseter is known for directing films like "Toy Story" and "Cars" and has produced every Pixar feature since "Monster's, Inc." He has been the chief creative officer for Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios since 2006, overseeing hits like "Frozen" and "Moana."

Pixar's "Coco" hits theaters Thanksgiving Day.

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