If you’re an animation studio executive and you’ve just laid off a a crew of artists, what’s the first thing you should do? Going on Tumblr to blog about it should be nowhere near the top of that list. In fact, you shouldn’t even be thinking about whether that’s something you should be doing. Don’t tell this to Colum Slevin, Lucasfilm Vice-President, Head of Studio Operations, who decided that he would blog his company’s layoffs.
The layoffs probably weren’t Slevin’s decision. They are owed to the inevitable restructuring resulting from Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. Disney’s cancellation of the Clone Wars TV series caused an initial round of layoffs last week. After crew members working on the show were let go, Slevin made this post on his Tumblr account:
In another context—like an Oprah TV special—this might have been a nice thought, but the fortune cookie-worthy sentiment is more than a little icky coming from a well-paid executive who doesn’t have to worry about where he’s getting his next paycheck.
Executives love to promote the idea that studios are families, which is a silly analogy for countless reasons. For starters, families don’t lay off their own members. That’s why it’s a good idea for execs like Slevin to reserve the paternalistic pep talks for their own kids, and avoid telling former employees that they have Character (with a capital C no less) and showing them garish personal photos—though the latter does bode well for Slevin’s bid to become a Creative Exec.
UPDATE: The post has been deleted from Slevin’s Tumblr account.
(Photo of Colum Slevin by Joel Aron)