Disenchanted Disney Staffers See the Looming Mass Layoff as a Way Off the Roller Coaster

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With just weeks before a downsizing that will impact some 7,000 employees, many at the company tell TheWrap they’re weighing their less-than-magical options

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

With CEO Bob Iger committed to reducing the Walt Disney Company’s massive debt by laying off as many as 7,000 of its “cast members” as early as next week, the temperature inside the company is veering between nervous energy and strange relief as the threat of joblessness looms.

“I’d be happy to be laid off” or a variation thereof is something TheWrap heard from multiple Disney employees, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.

That’s prompted by a combination of general anxiety, a stagnant creative environment and the shared sensation that during the pandemic, and particularly under the short-lived leadership of Bob Chapek, that the company has become a much less magical place to be.