Disney will lay off 28,000 employees as the coronavirus pandemic hammers the theme-park industry.
The cuts were announced to employees in a memo Tuesday. About two-thirds of those losing their jobs are part-time employees, according to reports.
Disneyland and Disney Adventure in California remain closed because of state restrictions while parks in Florida reopened in July. The Florida parks, which include Walt Disney World, have struggled to draw visitors as the pandemic drags on.
Disney furloughed tens of thousands of employees when the pandemic hit, and some came back to work as parks reopened. The layoffs include some of those furloughed workers.
Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, called the move “heartbreaking” in the memo to staff.
“For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity,” D’Amaro said, according to a copy of the memo obtained by CNBC, which first reported the news.
“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have 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,” he said.
Corrected on Sept. 29, 2020: Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated where Disney’s job cuts will occur. They will be from within the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division.