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Rashida Jones says she did not leave ‘Toy Story 4’ over rumored sexual advance

(LOS ANGELES) — Actress and writer Rashida Jones is denying a report that she quit Toy Story 4 because of an unwanted sexual advance from Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter. 

Lasseter announced Tuesday that he’s taking a six-month leave of absence from the animation studios, in the wake of allegations of workplace misconduct.

In a statement to Variety, Jones and her writing partner, Will McCormack — who were scheduled to worked as writers on the Toy Story sequel — say they left the project over “philosophical differences” related, they say, to the role of women and people of color at Pixar, not because of a sexual advance, as The Hollywood Reporter had alleged.

“The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories,” the pair said in the statement. “We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. That said, we are happy to see people speaking out about behavior that made them uncomfortable. As for us, we parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.”

The Hollywood Reporter published a story Tuesday afternoon, prior to Lasseter’s announcement, detailing his alleged misconduct in the workplace, saying while Lasseter was known for hugging employees, he was also known for “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes.” The story also contained the allegation regarding Jones.

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