Walt Disney Company Plans to Cut 32,000 Jobs Following Coronavirus-Related Park Closures

Image Credits: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

US media and entertainment conglomerate, the Walt Disney Company, has announced that it will look to cut 32,000 jobs in the first half of the 2021 fiscal year, 4,000 more than previously announced, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decimate the theme park industry.

“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,” the Walt Disney Company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that was published on Wednesday evening.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the temporary closure of the company’s Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Park in California. Both have since reopened, the latter in mid-November, although attendance has been capped as part of social distancing restrictions.

On November 12, the Walt Disney Company said that operating income at the company’s parks had fallen by $6.9 billion year-on-year in 2020 due to the closures and reduced attendances upon reopening.

Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, announced in September that 28,000 of the unit’s 100,000 US employees would be made redundant.

The Walt Disney Company was founded by cartoonist Walt Disney in 1923. The company has gone on to produce some of the world’s highest-grossing films and open the most popular chain of theme parks across the world.

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