Layoffs at Disney Layoffs at Disney

This week on Cartoon Brew’s The Weekly, host Jen Hurler looks at the mass layoffs announced at the Walt Disney Company and whether they could have been avoided if the company had more sustainable business practices.

Earlier this week, Disney announced that it would let go of 28,000 employees. The layoffs particularly affect its workers at its theme parks.

“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,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a statement.

But Abigail Disney, granddaughter of company co-founder Roy O. Disney, was warning people on Twitter back in July about future layoffs at the Disney Company as a direct result of unsustainable corporate practices in recent years. “Disney furloughed its workers because they intend to lay many of them off, but they didn’t want the bad publicity that would come with layoffs, so they chose to take the heat of two medium sized PR hits instead of one great big one,” Disney said. “Wait for it. Layoffs are coming.”

Disney complained about how quickly employees were furloughed, even after a year of historic profits, mentioning that over 11 billion dollars went to share buybacks, calling it a race to the bottom that makes the workers most responsible for the company’s success also the most vulnerable. She said that Disney and other companies “are asking us to pick up the tab for their years of whittling away at the dignity of the American worker so that they could transfer all that value WAY upstream to people like me.”

Other topics explored this week’s edition:

  • Variety’s annual 10 Animators to Watch for 2020
  • Chris Nee’s new series at Netflix with Barack and Michelle Obama
  • Barry Jenkins directing The Lion King cg sequel
  • Casting changes on Family Guy and The Simpsons