Rowling has faced criticism for her remarks on trans women. (Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Disney Parks to Lay Off 28,000 U.S. Employees Due to Pandemic Impact on Disneyland, Walt Disney World

Disney Parks is laying off 28,000 U.S. employees, two-thirds of whom are part-time, due to the pandemic’s impact on Disneyland and Walt Disney World, according to Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro.” data-reactid=”24″>Disney Parks is laying off 28,000 U.S. employees, two-thirds of whom are part-time, due to the pandemic’s impact on Disneyland and Walt Disney World, according to Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro.

Calling the decision “heartbreaking” in a letter to employees, he said that this was “the only feasible option we have” due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the parks to limit capacity and the ongoing closure of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. He said, in a separate statement, that the state of California’s “unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen” exacerbated the situation.

“very, very shortly.”” data-reactid=”26″>California Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated in a Sept. 15 news conference that an announcement on theme parks and amusement parks would be coming “very, very shortly.”

reopened in mid-July with increased health and safety measures as well as reduced visitor capacity.” data-reactid=”27″>Disneyland has remain shuttered since mid-March. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., which also closed in March, reopened in mid-July with increased health and safety measures as well as reduced visitor capacity.

In the letter to workers, D’Amaro said that the company would meet with affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days and will begin discussing next steps with the unions that represent those theme park workers. Though 67% of the cuts will impact part-time workers, affect Disney staff across executive, salaried and hourly positions.

The decision comes as the pandemic’s impact continues to eat into Walt Disney Company’s largest business by revenue. Disney’s parks, experiences and consumer products division brings in more revenue than any other segment — $26.23 billion in fiscal 2019 — accounting for over 37% of Disney’s $69.57 billion in revenue last year. By operating income, parks and consumer products represented over 45% of Disney’s $14.87 billion in 2019 operating income.

Actors’ Equity Association, which represents live stage performers at Disney theme parks, reacted to the news by calling on the Senate to take action.

“A bill that could provide these laid-off employees with unemployment insurance and a pathway to affordable health care has been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk for months,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “In Florida, laid off Disney workers can only receive $275 in unemployment benefits, which is unconscionable. The Senate must help these workers.”

The full statement to press from D’Amaro can be read below:

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