Walt Disney Company will lay off roughly 28,000 U.S. employees in its theme parks division, the company said on Tuesday, as its resorts struggled with limited attendance and the continued closure of California’s Disneyland due to the coronavirus pandemic.
About two-thirds of the laid-off employees are part-time workers, the company said in a statement.
Disney shut its theme parks around the world when the novel coronavirus began spreading earlier this year. All but Disneyland gradually reopened, though the company was forced to limit the number of visitors to allow for physical distancing.
“We have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of the parks unit, said in a statement.
He cited the parks’ limited capacity and continued uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic, which he said was “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tiffany Wu)