US entertainment conglomerate Disney on Tuesday said that it will cut 28,000 jobs from its US themes parks division, news agency AFP reported. The global franchise singled out its California enterprise and stated that restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic had prevented the resort from reopening.
The Mouse House stated in a press release that the cuts were being made in light of the social distancing requirements and declining demand patterns caused by the pandemic.
Part-time employees will bear the brunt of the sacking, as per an AFP report.
Josh D’ Amaro, the Chairman of the Disney Parks, Experience and Products stated, “ (A)s difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal.”
The Disneyland situated in Anaheim, Los Angeles is the world’s second most visited theme park after the Magic Kingdom at World Disney World in Orlando. Unlike its resorts in Florida, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Paris the Anaheim resort still remains closed due to California’s COVID-19 restrictions.
D’Amaro further said that uncertainty had been “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
Disneyland was originally scheduled for reopening in July, however, endeavours to reopen were rolled back after the state of California witnessed a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
California’s state tally of 805,000 COVID-19 cases is the most in the country. While the state has recently witnessed a decline in the rate of new infections, and certain business have been allowed to operate, theme parks remain under lock and key.
In the last week of September, Josh D’Amaro had requested California governor Gavin Newson to help reopen the parks or else risk losing thousands of jobs.
“The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be to the Orange County and Anaheim communities,” he said, urging officials to “to treat theme parks like you would other sectors.”
While the state has introduced a four-tier system of reopening businesses, theme parks are yet to reopen.
Earlier in September, Disneyland along with Universal Studios and other theme parks had issued a statement requesting prompt measures and issuance of health guidelines from California officials that would enable the reopening of theme parks.
California Governor Newsom had stated that guidance to reopen theme parks would be issued soon.
The move to lay-off thousands of workers comes amid Disney’s $4.7 billion loss in the most recent quarter.
In the last week of September Disney announced that it was postponing some of its biggest theatrical releases until next year, including the Marvel superhero film series “Black Widow” and “Eternals.”