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.
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:
- Disneyland Resort to Lay Off Nearly 2,700 Non-Union Cast Members
- Walt Disney World Provides Breakdown of Non-Union Cast Member Layoffs and Departments Affected
- 6,700 Non-Union Walt Disney World Cast Members to be Laid Off in December
- Yehaa Bob Jackson Fired From Walt Disney World After 23 Years at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
- Performers at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Fired in Recent Wave of Entertainment Cutbacks