Krishnamurti Costa, a Brazlian-born Lead Creature Modeler at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a subsidiary of Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company, reported that Disney will terminate him on October 30th for not complying with their vaccine mandate.
Costa has worked on a number of high budget motion pictures. His credits include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Pacific Rim, Jurassic World, Warcraft, Kong: Skull Island, Aquaman, Bumblebee, The Force Awakens, and more.
Costa posted to his official LinkedIn account announcing his termination.
He wrote, “It’s official. Today I got the word that Disney will be terminating me on October 30th, *maybe* a few days later. After 14 years of service, that’s how it all ends.”
“Reason? No, my work doesn’t suck and I am not a terrible employee at all. I am actually quite busy at the moment. My team and managers appreciate me and don’t want me to leave either, but this is coming all the way from the top. The reason is that I am not complying with their ‘no vax, no job mandate’, that’s all,” he declared.
Costa continued, “Informed consent was thrown out of the window. Personal choice was ignored. The only ‘option’ is compliance, meaning, there’s no option.”
Costa then questioned, “Now you might ask: ‘aren’t you working REMOTELY???’. The answer is YES and guess what? So is everyone in the studio, at least until January 2022! So if people in the entire studio are only getting back to the building in January or later, what sense does it make to FIRE people in October? Does this REALLY sound like a health concern to you?”
He continued, “I can’t believe this is happening. It’s bizarro world. I will miss my team and friends at ILM. Incredible, talented, generous artists I respect. It was a conscious choice though, so no regrets at all.”
“Life goes on. Stay true to your core beliefs. Be honest. Work hard. Take good care of your minds, bodies and souls. Life is a gift,” he concluded.
About two weeks ago, Costa announced he was looking for work outside of Lucasfilm’s ILM.
He posted, “After many years away from LinkedIn, it’s time to reactivate it. The reason is, even though I am not sure yet how things will play out, I *might* be looking for a new ‘home’ in about a month or two.”
“After 14 years at ILM San Francisco and 32 feature movies under my belt, as a Lead Creature Modeler, with a Supervisor role on ‘Kong: Skull Island’, I am currently contemplating opportunities for remote work as a model Lead or Supervisor,” he wrote.
“I have only worked in VFX for the last 17+ years, so games might not be a good fit for me, but I will consider, depending on the conditions. If you know of any studio looking for a seasoned veteran with a vast resumé of high profile projects, please let me know,” he concluded.
In a follow-up to that post about a week ago, he wrote, “I would like to thank all the artists and recruiters who had reached out after my post about my possible availability to work remotely starting in November. I had a good number of interviews ever since, sometimes two a day and it’s been so refreshing to talk to different teams and see that there’s indeed plenty of life and projects outside of the bubble I’ve been in for the last 14 years.”
He added, “A lot of work out there and many possibilities! I still have a few more interviews to get through next week and then we will see. For now, thank you again for taking the time!”
This revelation by Costa that Disney will be terminating employees who are not vaccinated should not come as a surprise. Back at the end of July, The Walt Disney Company announced they would be requiring employees to get vaccinated before returning to the work.
A statement from the company read, “At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority.”
The statement continued, “Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated.”
It added, “Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions.”
“We have also begun conversations around this topic with the unions representing our employees under collective bargaining agreements. In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment. Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” the statement concluded.
What do you make of Disney terminating long-time employees like Krishnamurti Costa because they are not vaccinated?