Disney Reveals Plan to Lay Off 32,000 Employees in 2021

Disney will lay off 32,000 employees during the first half of 2021. The news came via a new SEC filing on Wednesday which cited that the majority of this upcoming round of layoffs will come primarily from the Disney theme parks which has been especially hard hit during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as the California theme parks remained closed for the foreseeable future and attendance is drastically reduced at the Florida parks as well.

"Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the Company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force. As part of these actions, the employment of approximately 32,000 employees primarily at Parks, Experiences and Products will terminate in the first half of fiscal 2021," Disney said in a new SEC filing Wednesday (via The Wrap.) "Additionally, as of October 3, 2020, approximately 37,000 employees who are not scheduled for employment termination were on furlough as a result of COVID-19’s impact on our businesses."

In September, Disney Parks chairman Jos D'Amaro announced in a statement that the company had made the decision to lay off upwards of 28,000 employees that are employed by one of Disney’s numerous theme parks, with 67-percent of those impacted were part-time workers that had been furloughed since April. The new 32,000 number is an updated figure form the September announcement.

"In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – 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, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits. Approximately 28,000 domestic employees will be affected, of which about 67% are part-time. We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members," D'Amaro's statement from September read.

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It continued, "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."

It's worth noting that it isn't just the theme parks that are seeing layoffs. Earlier this month, there were also layoffs at the recently acquired Searchlight Pictures.