ANAHEIM, CA (CelebrityAccess) — As Disney continues to face the extended closure of some of its theme parks, the company announced plans to lay off a staggering 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division.
In a letter sent to employees on Tuesday and obtained by CNBC, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro laid the blame for the layoffs on California’s unwillingness to allow re-opening of Disney’s theme parks in the state.
“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 — exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen — we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits,” D’Amaro said memo obtained by CNBC.
D’Amaro said that almost 70% of staff affected by the layoffs were part-time employees but the company declined to provide additional details on the staff reduction.
While many Disney properties, including the company’s flagship parks in Florida have re-opened at least partially, parks in California, including Disneyland, have remained closed.
The parks, experiences and consumer products segment is a key part of Disney’s business and accounted for 37% percent of their $69.6 billion in total revenue in 2019.
Disney has also been impacted by a loss of revenue from their previously high-flying movie unit and its newly-launched streaming content division reported a write-down of $706 million, part of Disney’s overall loss of $4.72 billion in its most recent quarterly earnings report.