Disney has announced that it will be laying off 28,000 employees. While the company maintains one of the biggest media empires on the planet, they have been hit particularly hard in 2020, with its theme park business taking a nosedive. Disneyland and Disney World, among others, closed for much of the year over health and safety concerns. At best, operating at a reduced capacity.
In a statement from Josh D’Amaro, head of parks at Disney, the company said they will be making the cuts in light of uncertainty brought on by the situation at hand. D’Amaro says the situation has been “exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.” Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected. The majority of them, about 67 percent, are said to be part-time. D’Amaro had this to say.
“Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal. Our Cast Members have always been key to our success, playing a valued and important role in delivering a world-class experience, and we look forward to providing opportunities where we can for them to return.”
Disney, with its huge stable of properties such as Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and more, makes a great deal of money from movies and merchandise. But the box office has been all but extinct this year. Even setting that aside, Disney Parks accounted for 37 percent of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue from 2019. With the parks struggling, that is a tremendous amount of money lost.
A letter from Josh D’Amaro was also sent to employees. The layoffs are described as “difficult” and “heartbreaking.” But it was also said to be the only feasible option that the company has currently. The letter, in part, reads as follows.
“As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity. As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have.”
It was reported earlier in the year that Disney was losing millions daily by Disneyland and other parks being closed. This is also just the latest round of layoffs. Last year, following the merger with Fox, thousands of employees were also let go in part to reduce redundancies within the new corporate structure.
It was recently reported that Disney is actively working with California officials to help get Disneyland open again. But based on these layoffs the short-term outlook is not good. We have included the statement from Josh D’Amaro in its entirety. This news comes to us directly from Disney.com.