As Disney's stock was touching another all-time high on Wednesday, about 150 employees at the conglomerate's filmed entertainment segment were getting word that their services were no longer needed.
The pink slips, insiders say, weren't unexpected, as published reports that began to surface last week indicated they were coming, and because word was out that CEO Robert Iger was looking for efficiencies and cost-cutting measures in areas where digital technologies were reshaping businesses, such as in home entertainment. ...
So who, exactly, is being slipped the axe? The L.A. Times reported:
... Disney declined to comment on the specific number of personnel affected. According to a 2012 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, the company had 166,000 employees at the end of its last fiscal year. ...
Everybody suspected that Disney's animation departments were going to see cuts; nobody knew the specifics.
Yesterday TAG and the IATSE got some specifics from Disney Labor Relations. Walt Disney Animation Studios (a.k.a. Disney Feature) will be laying off nine veteran animators/artists, some of whom have been at the House of Mouse for decades.
I haven't talked to the artists getting pink slips, but this lay off has got to be wrenching. To be separated from a studio where you've spent a huge part of your working life is never easy. The questions Will I find new work? Will other studios be interested in what I have to offer? will be hanging there like thunderheads as they walk out the studio gates.
One consoling thought: There is life after Disney. Other artists have found this to be a fact; it will be true for this talented group as well.
(Just ask John Lasseter.)
Add On: Surviving hand-drawn animators have been called to meetings to discuss wage cuts and/or buyouts. Guess we'll wait to see where the downsizing ends.