A new report claims that Disney is going through a new round of layoffs that have been described as a “bloodbath.”
The report comes from The Hollywood Reporter (THR), who cite two Disney employees who described what is happening at the company saying, “It’s a bloodbath.”
The layoffs are reportedly happening in Disney’s General Entertainment Content unit and their Walt Disney Television division, which includes ABC and 20th Television.
According to THR over 100 people have been laid off. One source told them, “I’m sure Disney’s seen worse, but it feels pretty significant.”
Among those who have been laid off include ABC executive Vicki Dummer as well as Andy Kubitz.
Dummer was previously the head of Current Series programming at ABC Entertainment. Kubitz’s LinkedIn profile says he was an eight-year veteran at ABC Entertainment where he was most recently the Executive Vice President of Programming Strategy.
20th Television reportedly laid off Dan Kupetz, whose LinkedIn profile says his most recent position was Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Operations. He had been with the company for only 10 months.
These latest layoffs come in the wake of a memo from Disneyland President Ken Potrock, who detailed that they would be furloughing more employees.
That memo, which was obtained by THR, stated, “After nearly eight months our parks and hotels remain closed, and while we have had some successes — like the opening of the Downtown Disney District in July, shopping and dining coming soon to Buena Vista Street and today’s announcement that we will reopen Disney Vacation Club units — the recently released state guidelines put us in limbo regarding a reopening timeline in the foreseeable future.”
The memo adds, “As you know, we’ve already taken the heart-wrenching action of laying off thousands of our Cast on both coasts. We expected to be able to open our parks in Anaheim, given our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols as we have in all of our other theme parks around the world, but unfortunately, this has not been the case.”
THR reports that furloughed employees would keep health and insurance benefits.
Back in November, an SEC filing revealed that Disney would be letting go of an additional 4,000 employees on top of the 28,000 that had previously been announced in September.
The filing read, “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.”
They added, “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.”
All of these layoffs come in the wake of Disney’s November 12th quarterly report which indicated that their fourth-quarter losses totaled $710 million. Not only did they report a $710 million fourth quarter loss, but the company also revealed their revenue had declined by over $5 billion as compared to 2019.
In 2020, they reported their total revenue was $14.71 billion. In 2019, their revenue was $19.1 billion.
Not only is the company suffering financially, but back in October they announced they a structural reorganization to put a focus on their streaming services.
Their press release from October reads, “Under the new structure, Disney’s world-class creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organization.”
Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek stated, “Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our Company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value.”
“Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best—making world-class, franchise-based content—while our newly centralized global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service,” Chapek added.
What do you make of this new “bloodbath” at Disney? Do you think this will be the end or will there be more in the future?