Hillsboro, Oregon-based stop-motion studio Laika has laid off 56 employees, a little over 15% of its 362-person staff, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the cause of its workforce reduction. The studio is responsible for well liked films including Missing Link, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Coraline.
A Laika rep told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, that “with no end in sight to the pandemic, we have rolled off 56 of staff from our crew with the intention to hire them back at a future date when we can expand the number of people we can safely have in our buildings.”
While the studio is currently in pre-production on a yet-to-be-announced feature, the majority of its staff is working remotely. Laika president and CEO Travis Knight had told employees back in early April that everyone would be kept on payroll even while the studio remained closed. At the time he made the statement, he had expected the studio to stay closed until May 1st, however as of today, the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down in the United States, and it continues to infect millions of people every month while killing tens of thousands.