Fox Executives on How Disney Layoffs Have Shaken the Studio: ‘I Have Survivor’s Guilt’

“There is no sense of hustle and bustle and there is definitely a sense of waiting for the inevitable,” one former staffer tells TheWrap

The phones have stopped ringing. The high energy of a studio lot that released more than a dozen movies last year is gone. This is the general feeling former and current Fox employees have in the wake of hundreds of layoffs since Disney’s acquisition of Fox in March.

With the exception of Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula’s art-house division Fox Searchlight, which continues to both release and produce new movies, work on the regular Fox film lot has ground to a near-standstill, according to half a dozen current and former Fox executives who spoke to TheWrap.

No new films have been greenlit since the merger and many films that have already been shot have been shuffled to releases in 2020 and beyond.

For those executives who still show up to the lot in Century City, where office corridors are increasingly empty, the atmosphere can be unsettling. “I see ghosts everywhere,” one senior Fox executive still employed at the studio said. “I have survivor’s guilt.”

“It’s very quiet,” a senior Fox executive who recently was laid off said. “There hasn’t been a greenlit movie…

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Beatrice Verhoeven

Senior Film Reporter