A new rumor details that the Walt Disney Company will be experiencing mass layoffs in the near future.
The rumor comes from user Pheneix on the WDW Magic Forums.
In a recent post to the forums titled, “On layoffs, very bad attendance, and Iger’s legacy being one of disgrace,” Pheneix details that “The Walt Disney Company is about to experience some of the deepest layoffs I have ever witnessed in my adult life.”
Pheneix elaborates, “What you are about to see from WDC will be shocking and it will permanently change their business forever. The bloat is about to be gone. The mediocrity that’s failed upward all our lives is about to be purged. A new company is emerging.”
In fact, Pheneix claims that Bob Iger will be one of those who gets axed. They write, “And that brings me to Bob Iger. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Gotta Put Yoda on His Wife’s Dress to Bury Some Search Engine Leads. That guy. It is my pleasure to announce that he will be soon tossed on his ***. ”
Pheneix adds, “In disgrace. His sins, his poor judgement, his poor treatment of subordinates. His malicious temper and outrageous displays of “toxic masculinity” as the kids call it. All this and more is coming out. Good riddance.”
And there might be something to this rumor as Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney Co. co-founder Roy O. Disney, also warned that layoffs to the company would be coming.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Disney began by criticizing the current state of American businesses saying, “There is a deep rot at the core of American fundamentalist capitalism. Over the years a greed-is-good mindset has taken hold across corporate culture. And CEO’s have taken the ball and run with it.”
She continued “They populate their boards with other CEO’s and they add layers and layers of executive structure between themselves and their workers.”
“Eventually they forget what they once knew (if they ever did) about what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck, to have no power over your own destiny, to feel like a cog in a giant machine whose work is “unskilled” ergo easily replaced by a hundred other people who would rather take your horribly paid job rather than continue to languish on unemployment,” she added.
She would then specifically talk about The Walt Disney Company and how she previously objected to the company furloughing employees in April.
She stated, “I objected when Disney furloughed their workers not because they shouldn’t have, but because they should have waited as long as humanly possible to do so, since unemployment benefits are finite and the clock starts ticking the minute your are furloughed no matter how long the pandemic lasts.”
“They furloughed workers as quickly as they did because there was very little cash on hand even after a year of historic profits. Where was the cash? In the hands of executives and shareholders. 11.5 billion dollars went out the door in share buybacks enriching everyone BUT the people who worked hard to make this happen,” she wrote.
Disney would continue to criticize corporate greed among the CEO class before explaining that Disney furloughed their workers because they intend to lay them off anyways.
She wrote, “Disney furloughed its workers because they intend to lay many of them off, but they didn’t want the bad publicity that would come with layoffs, so they chose to take the heat of two medium-sized PR hits, instead of one great big one.”
She then specifically predicted that layoffs will happen. She wrote, “Wait for it. Layoffs are coming. I don’t expect Disney to pay people who don’t work for them, nor do I expect them to employ people in excess of what they can afford.”
Disney would then detail that there are two important takeaways. She writes, “But two things about that are important. The first is that had they not spent the last two decades prioritizing “efficiency and productivity” in the form of smaller staffs doing the same amount of work, pressuring people out so as to discourage “seniority,” messing with people’s hours so they can’t claim the benefits of being full-time workers, the people whom they’ve cut loose would not have been so ill-prepared for the pandemic.”
She continued, “These people not only did not have any savings, many of them have been forced into high priced rented housing, many of them have had to look to pantries to feed their families, many shift workers were forced to delay healthcare or else work when sick because they’d not worked enough consecutive hours (because the were sick, duh) to even take advantage of the sick day policy.”
She then wrote, “So the first thing is basically I–and many, many others–told you so. Your business practices have turned what would have been a crisis into a cataclysm for millions of American workers. Congrats.”
Disney then moved on to the second takeaway, “The second is when they furloughed workers who were already living close to the bone they shifted the moral burden of caring enough about those who mutually create profits with them onto the state and therefore the tax payers.”
“Disney and others are asking us to pick up the tab for their years of whittling way at the dignity of the American worker so that they could transfer all that value WAY upstream to people like me,” she continued.
She added, “Yes, people like me have essentially gotten rich off of the oppression–yes it’s a weighty word and I mean it–of and the systematic stripping of dignity from millions of American workers. Because that’s how we were taught society works. Because that’s what the business schools told us to do. Because that’s what Milton Friedman said. Because only shareholders matter.”
She then continued her criticism of the American corporate class at large, “Greed-is-good business practices are morally bankrupt–not morally neutral or amoral as its defenders claim partly because there is not such thing as morally neutral or amoral, but mainly because it has led the active erosion in the quality of life of millions of our fellow Americans, it has hollowed out our democracy and left civil society hanging on by a thread, and has led to a nearly uncrossable abyss between a teeny tiny minority of Americans and everyone else. And it has not just allowed but encouraged the lucky few to believe that this is a just state of affairs.”
She then pitched her own idea on how to solve some of these problems, “I have an idea. Instead of paying yourself more money than you can ever use, what if you decided to make less and share profits more broadly? Is 10 million dollars a year enough for you? It sounds like a lot to me.
ClownFish TV would also indicate there is precedence to this rumor that Disney will be laying off people.
Kneon points to the fact that Universal Studios Orlando had to lay off staff after they reopened.
Theme Park Insider reported just last month, “The Universal Orlando Resort has announced that it is laying off an unspecified number of its team members, as the tourism industry remains mired in a global slowdown due to the pandemic.”
The official statement from Universal begins, “We are working to structure and strengthen our business for the future in anticipation of the tourism industry taking time to fully recover. In that regard, we have already taken important steps such as adjusting budgets and implementing salary reductions and furloughs.”
The statement continues, “Most recently, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our Parks & Resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units. This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future.”
“We are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this reduction and their families, and we are working to support them through this process. This includes severance pay, subsidized health benefits and professional reemployment assistance,” the statement read.
Finally it concluded, “We continue to have long-term confidence in our business and our industry and remain excited about all of the projects we have been working toward.”
Much more information about Disney’s financial status will be revealed during Disney’s Q3 FY20 Earnings Results Webcast. That will take place beginning at 4:30 PM ET on Tuesday, August 4, 2020.
Disney promises “results will be released after the close of regular trading on August 4, 2020.”
What do you make of this rumor? Do you think Disney will be laying off massive numbers of people? Do you think Bob Iger is on the chopping block?