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Walt Disney World may be the place where dreams come true, but sadly, the iconic theme park is letting go of 11,350 workers in Orlando due to financial struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to USA Today, Jim Bowden, Disney’s vice president of employee relations said in a notice that was filed on Thursday that at the end of year, 10,903 workers at Walt Disney World and 447 employees from smaller Disney properties will be affected.
In addition, last Wednesday, Walt Disney World laid off 720 actors and singers, according to the Actor’s Equity Association, a labor union that represents the artists. This will now leave 60 Equity performers to work at the Orlando theme park.
Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association voiced her support to those affected.
“Our hearts go out to all the cast members at Walt Disney World,” Shindle said. “Disney has made it clear that our members would face work reductions since they announced layoffs of nearly 28,000 employees. That does not make this news any less painful.”
Disney World made an attempt to reopen in July after a three-month shutdown due to COVID-19 guidelines. An October 9 article from The New York Times reported that attendance has been “lower than anticipated” since its reopening.
In a Disney Parks blog post on Friday, Bettina Buckley, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort Live Entertainment, on behalf of the company, addressed the layoffs as “difficult decisions.”
“Determining which shows can return and when is a complex process. As with the rest of our phased reopening, we will also consider the guidance of health officials and government agencies in determining when the time will be right to adjust capacity, and as soon as it is appropriate, we will start to bring additional entertainment back,” Buckley said.
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