Disney layoffs

The coronavirus pandemic, which sadly does not appear to be ending any time soon, has inspired a new wave of layoffs at The Walt Disney Company, the time affecting approximately 28,000 cast members in the Parks, Experiences and Products sectors of the company. Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro made the announcement in a tweet this afternoon, which you can read below.

“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, Experience and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits,” D’Amaro wrote in the longest sentence of all time. “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.”

The statement continued, and you can read it in full below:

It strikes me as slightly petty of D’Amaro to call out California governor Gavin Newsom for not allowing Disneyland to reopen as the pandemic continues to rage. This virus has killed over 200,000 Americans and counting, and I can’t help get a whiff of an implication that Florida governor Ron DeSantis is somehow doing a better job than Newsom because the Florida parks have reopened. (As a Florida resident, I can say that the leadership here has been, to put it mildly, extremely lacking overall.)

But setting the politics aside, this is very tough news for a lot of folks, and our hearts go out to all of them. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the working people of this country, and while it’s tempting to point fingers at people like Newsom for being slow to reopen the parks, the real blame lies at the top of the pyramid, with the inaction of the Trump administration and its constant undermining of science and safety. If they had warned Americans about the coming threat early on and embraced the widely accepted and scientifically proven ways to minimize the spread of the virus instead of politicizing the concept of wearing masks, we wouldn’t be in this situation at all.

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