Disney Cuts 28,000 Staff as Coronavirus Devastates Theme Park Business

Cast members dressed as cartoon characters Minnie Mouse (R) and Mickey Mouse (L) sit on a ride as part of a publicity exercise for the media at Hong Kong's Disneyland on June 17, 2020, a day before the theme park's doors reopen following nearly five months of closure in a …
ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty

Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday 32,000 theme park workers will be laid off from the New Year onwards, a jump from the 28,000 it announced in September, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drain visitor numbers.

The staff downsizing will be in the first half of 2021, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters reports.

The layoffs follow Walt Disney Co. profit warnings issued in August when the company reported its net income plummeted dramatically in the three-month period that ended in June when it most of its theme parks were shuttered and theatrical movie releases were postponed.

Last month Disneyland President Ken Potrock and other theme park executives blasted California’s government over its restrictive rules on reopening in the state.

“We believe that we’ve proven that we can responsibly reopen. We continue to prove all over the world that we have reliable protocols that protect the safety of our guests,” said Potrock, according to a report by Variety.

The Disneyland president spoke one day after California set tough guidelines for reopening Disneyland and other large theme parks in the coming months.

As Breitbart News reported, Disney said closing its parks cost it $3.5 billion during the second quarter of 2020.

Disney’s theme parks in Florida and those outside the U.S. reopened earlier this year without seeing new major coronavirus outbreaks but with strict social distancing, testing and mask use.

Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a new lockdown to fight a second wave of the coronavirus cases.

The company’s theme parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain open.

Disney employs around 203,000 people globally, with around 20 percent part-time workers.

 

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