Josh D’Amaro Seen Apologizing to Cast Members After Thousands are Laid Off at Disneyland Resort

Shannen Ace

Josh D'Amaro holding a blue lightsaber in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Josh D’Amaro Seen Apologizing to Cast Members After Thousands are Laid Off at Disneyland Resort

Shannen Ace

Josh D'Amaro holding a blue lightsaber in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Josh D’Amaro Seen Apologizing to Cast Members After Thousands are Laid Off at Disneyland Resort

Multiple witnesses have said that Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, was in Downtown Disney District yesterday speaking to Cast Members. This is a few days after D’Amaro announced that Disney would be laying off 28,000 Cast Members.

Nate Pester tweeted about his experience seeing D’Amaro at Downtown Disney.

According to Nate, D’Amaro looked “defeated” and was apologizing to Cast Members and letting them vent and cry to him. In the time since the mass layoff announcement, over 5,000 union and non-union Disneyland Cast Members have been informed of upcoming layoffs, plus over 400 Walt Disney Imagineers over in Glendale, California.

The day of the layoff announcement, D’Amaro issued the following note to Cast Members:


I write this note to you today to share some difficult decisions that we have had to make regarding our Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products organization.

Let me start with my belief that the heart and soul of our business is and always will be people. Just like all of you, I love what I do. I also love being surrounded by people who think about their roles as more than jobs, but as opportunities to be a part of something special, something different, and something truly magical.  

Earlier this year, in response to the pandemic, we were forced to close our businesses around the world. Few of us could have imagined how significantly the pandemic would impact us — both at work and in our daily lives. We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal. Seven months later, we find that has not been the case. And, as a result, today we are now forced to reduce the size of our team across executive, salaried, and hourly roles. 

As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.  

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, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic. 

Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding during these difficult times. I know that these changes will be challenging. It will take time for all of us to process this information and its impact. We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days. Additionally, today we will begin the process of discussing next steps with unions. We encourage you to visit The Hub or the WDI Homepage for any support you may need. 

For those who will be affected by this decision, I want to thank you for all that you have done for our company and our guests. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience, and hope to welcome back Cast Members and employees when we can. 

Most sincerely, 

Josh D’Amaro
Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Bob Iger, Executive Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, and Bob Chapek, CEO, have not come forth with statements regarding the mass layoffs. The Walt Disney Company restored the salaries of its Senior Executives in late August, when thousands of Cast Members were still on furlough.

You can read more about the massive Disney layoffs in the following articles:

22 thoughts on “Josh D’Amaro Seen Apologizing to Cast Members After Thousands are Laid Off at Disneyland Resort”

    • No. The fish rots from the head down. I appreciate that we’re a country of 50 states and territories. Fine. But there are times when we should behave as ONE country instead of 50. This pandemic was one of those times. We didn’t. I live in Las Vegas, a sort of Disneyland in the desert. It’s difficult with porous borders to maintain a low curve in the coronavirus. We’d not be going through this misery had ee been one country, indivisible. Being on the same page as one country is what we should have done. What a tragedy.

    • You are 100% correct. Governor Newsom is destroying California.
      Look up where Governor Newsom lives. We are paying for him to live in an 8 acre walled compound with tennis and pools. He doesn’t care if you are homeless and why aren’t all government employees taking a 25% pay cut? Government employees are getting richer while the rest of us are losing are homes and freedom.

  1. What a sickening situation. My heart goes out to all affected. I really hope WDW can increase capacity and DLR can re-open soon.

  2. After he is done there Disney needs to apologize to Star Wars and Marvel fans for ruining both franchises and then fire Kathleen Kennedy.

    • People are losing their jobs, homes, loved ones, and their lives, and you’re really out here trying to play a victim because you don’t like how a movie franchise turned out? Seriously? Disgusting.

  3. Why can people not see that the real “villain” is Governor Newsom? I mean.. look at the statistics.. if we keep California under lockdown until there is a “cure” we may as well shutter the whole state for good. Use common sense and let’s start a staggered reopening. I mean seriously… he’s fine, he’s not suffering…maybe he resides in fantasy land.. me and mine, we live in the real world.

  4. This is not okay. They have repeatedly asked for the okay to open and have been denied. This needs to change. I’m not even from California but the Governor better re-think. NOW. So many people have now officially lost their jobs and they’re just going to act like everything is fine and dandy….I think not.

  5. I’m sorry nobody sees the big PR sob stunt they’re doing to force CA’s hand into reopening too soon? This is Disney one of the largest companies in the entire world. They could’ve easily kept these people furloughed for years! I love Disney and it broke my families heart they shut down. We had bought tickets 2 months before and were saving up to give my 2 year old her first and best Disneyland experience. Unfortunately the date we set ended up being the Sunday the weekend they announced the closure. We’re excited to go when they open but I would prefer they open right.

  6. They needed to open in July when they had the chance. Oh no, couldn’t do that. Now Disneyland CA is the only Disney park not open.

  7. I’m 100% sure that cast members petition the governor to keep Disney closed or delay the opening back in June.

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