Following accusations of sexual misconduct against famed animator John Lasseter, another Disney executive has been accused of “decades” of sexual misconduct.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of Disney representatives, including employees, say they witnessed executive Thomas Schumacher, an openly gay man, making sexually explicit remarks to male employees in incidents going all the way back to the 1990s. He also, allegedly, spoke about the “sexual prowess of black men” and “has continued to use sexual language in the past two or three years.”
“Another side of his success as a creative executive has been a harsh demeanor and tendency to cross the boundaries of appropriate workplace behavior, people who have worked with him said,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Schumacher has offended numerous employees over the years with explicit language and behavior, including comments about subordinates’ sexual attractiveness, discussions about pornography and walking through the office in a bathrobe while boasting he had nothing on underneath, according to people who said they witnessed the episodes.”
A close friend of Schumacher told the WSJ that Schumacher denies the accusations made against him, saying that Schumacher “at times acknowledged using inappropriate language, expressed regret, and committed to being more mindful and adhering to company policies going forward.”
According to one former Disney employee, Bruce Williams, Disney knew of Schumacher’s behavior back in 1994.
“We’ve spoken to Tom and he apologizes,” Williams, now 60, said HR told him at the time, “this time I think he’s heard us.”
WSJ reports that a Disney spokesperson claims the company has no record of Williams’ complaint. WSJ corroborated his claims with five former Disney employees.
Jane Buchanan, another former employee, claims that when she brought her bi-racial son to the office, Schumacher “made jokes about the sexual prowess of black men.” Buchanan signed a non-disclosure agreement when she left Disney in 2006.
As of now, three major Disney employees have been hit with sexual misconduct claims: Harvey Weinstein, whose company Miramax was owned by Disney; Pixar chief John Lasseter; and now Thomas Schumacher.