Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks

Disney plans to lay off 32,000 employees as the coronavirus continues to hamper its theme parks. 

In a Wednesday filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that the majority of the layoffs will be from its parks, experiences and products division. A spokesperson for Disney told Variety that the number includes park layoffs first announced in September. 

“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,” the company wrote. “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.”

A separate 37,000 Disney employees who were not set to be terminated have been on furlough as of Oct. 3, Variety notes. 

Disney’s parks in North America, Asia and Europe were closed between March and May, CNN notes. The company has since reopened theme parks in Shanghai and Florida, but Disneyland in California will remain closed until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Disneyland Paris closed again late last month when France imposed its second coronavirus lockdown.

Earlier this month, Disney reported millions of dollars in fourth-quarter losses, although the corporation still outperformed expectations by analysts. 

Disney first announced in September that it planned to lay off 28,000 employees as the pandemic affected attendance at its parks. The move drew backlash from politicians including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who called out the company for laying off its workers while reportedly restoring the salaries of its senior executives during the pandemic.

Tags Coronavirus Disney Disneyland economy Elizabeth Warren layoffs restrictions

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