Disney to cut 32,000 jobs amid COVID-19 closures

Nov. 26 (UPI) — Walt Disney Co. will cut 32,000 jobs at its parks and resorts by the end of March as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to prolonged closures at the company’s theme parks, the company said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The cuts include 28,000 previously announced in September.

“COVID-19 and measures to prevent its spread impacted our segments in a number of ways, most significantly at Parks, Experiences and Products, where our theme parks were closed or operating at significantly reduced capacity for a significant portion of the year, cruise ship sailings and guided tours were suspended since late in the second quarter and retail stories were closed for a significant portion of the year,” the company said in its filing.

In addition to the job cuts, the company reported furloughs of 37,000 employees.

The company said it employed about 203,000 people as of Oct. 3, including about 155,000 in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment.

The company’s 12 theme parks around the world were closed between March and May, with the closure of its California park to continue through the end of the year and its Paris park undergoing a second closure at the end of October.

Disney previously reported revenue in its parks, experiences and products segment fell 61% to $2.6 billion during the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 3. Operating income was down by about $3.5 billion in the third quarter.

The company’s studio entertainment segment also has been impacted by the pandemic, delaying the release of films, including Black Widow.

The company’s Disney+ streaming services, launched in November 2019, has grown to an estimated 74 million subscribers as of Oct. 3.

Disney faced criticism for layoffs announced earlier, including from Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney’s brother.

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