Maker of Oscar Statues to Lay Off Almost 100 Workers

A month before it's scheduled to make a new batch of Oscars, the recently purchased R.S. Owens  & Company says it will lay off 95 of its 250 employees

R.S. Owens, the Chicago-based company that makes Oscar and Emmy statuettes, is laying off 95 employees, more than a third of its 251-person workforce.

Academy Awards statuetteThe company notified the Illinois Department of Commerce this week that the permanent layoffs in the 250-person company will take effect on Dec. 17. That's the day the purchase of R.S. Owens by the Indianapolis-based St. Regis Crystal Inc. will be completed.

The company has been the supplier of Academy Awards statuettes since 1982. It also makes awards for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, MTV Video Music Awards and "American Idol."

In a press release following its purchase by St. Regis, R.S. Owens said that it plans to continue making Oscar, Emmy and othe awards statuettes at its plant in Jefferson Park, Ill. Other aspects of its business will shift to St. Regis' existing facility in Indianapolis.

R.S. Owens makes about 50 new Oscar statuettes each January, a process that takes three to four weeks.

"We were surprised by the news of layoffs at R.S. Owens," a spokeswoman for the Academy told TheWrap. "Our Oscar statuette order plans are similar to that of previous years."