Disney to lay off 28,000 employees at US theme parks
In August, Disney reported its first quarterly loss since 2001, losing nearly $5 billion.
Disney is set to lay off 28,000 employees at US theme parks. Disney cited the parks' limited visitor capacity and uncertainty about how long the coronavirus pandemic would last as reasons for the layoffs.
The company's theme parks have taken a major hit from the pandemic.
Disney shut all its parks earlier this year as the virus spread, but only Disneyland in California remains closed.
"We have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels," Josh D'Amaro, chairman of the parks unit, said in a statement.
The layoffs apply to "domestic employees" of which about 67% are part-time. In August, Disney reported its first quarterly loss since 2001, losing nearly $5 billion. (It profited $1.4 billion in the same quarter in 2019.) Its theme parks were mostly responsible: They lost $2 billion in operating income that quarter, while every other segment posted gains—even the company’s movie studio, which has also been hit hard by the pandemic.
Even when Disneyland reopens and Disney World returns to normal operations, consumers may feel uncomfortable traveling to the Magic Kingdom to stand in lines and bump elbows with other tourists. It may not be until a vaccine is deemed effective—and widely used—until the parks resemble what they were like before the pandemic. Disney’s theme park problem was caused by the virus, but it could also outlast it.
Disney also has parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris, which are not affected by the announcement.
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