Missing Link & Coraline Studio LAIKA Lays Off Staffers Due to Coronavirus Shutdown

The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the entertainment industry is ever-evolving, and there's a long way to go for things to return to the status quo. Many studios are still experiencing logistical and financial issues as they look ahead, and it looks like the animation studios Laika is the latest to be impacted. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the animation studio, which is responsible for hits such as Coraline, ParaNorman, and Missing Link, has laid off 56 staffers from the company, with the goal of rehiring them at a later date. This news, which comes just days after the 15th anniversary of the company's founding, is reportedly the result of cost-saving measures.

"[Laika] holds the well-being of its employees as its highest concern," a representative of the company explains. "With no end in sight to the pandemic, we have rolled off 56 of staff from our crew with the intention to hire them back at a future date when we can expand the number of people we can safely have in our buildings."

Back when the pandemic initially began, Laika president and CEO Travis Knight reassured staffers that they would be kept on the payroll.

"When this ends, and it will end, the world will need storytellers more than ever," Knight said at the time. "The world will need hope and inspiration and empathy and high-spirited joy. The world will need beauty and poetry and restorative works of art. The world will need you."

"Telling stories is one of the prime functions of the human mind and spirit," Knight continued. "Good stories open us up to new possibilities, to new ways of thinking, to recognize the shared humanity in which we all participate. That has always been Laika's reason for being. And it will remain so. And we will do it as we always have. Together."

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Laika is based out of Hillsboro, Oregon, and employs 362 staff members. The studio is reportedly "in active pre-production" on its next film, the details of which remain a mystery. According to the report, only essential staff from the country are working on-site, with most of the employees working remotely.

What do you think of Laika having to experience layoffs amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!