Disney World lays off 720 performers in pandemic cutbacks

Walt Disney World has laid off 720 actors and singers from its theme parks, representing the pandemic’s latest blow to live entertainment.

The Actors’ Equity Association said on Tuesday that of its 780 union members at Disney’s Orlando attractions, all but 60 were being let go due to budget cuts in the pandemic.

‘Our hearts go out to all the cast members at Walt Disney World,’ said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association, in a statement. 

‘Disney has made it clear that our members would face work reductions since they announced layoffs of nearly 28,000 employees. That does not make this news any less painful,’ she added. 

Walt Disney World has laid off 720 actors and singers, representing the pandemic’s latest blow to live entertainment. Disney cast members are seen above

The cutbacks hit the cast of floor shows such as Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom, seen above in a file photo

‘These reductions are another tragic reminder that until the virus is brought under control with a national strategy for masks, testing and contact tracing, everyone who works in the arts needs help like extended pandemic unemployment insurance and federal COBRA health insurance subsidies,’ Shindle said.

Among the affected performers are cast members of the ‘Streetmosphere’ music and dance teams in each of Disney World’s theme parks, and Broadway-style shows such as Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The cuts also hit Finding Nemo – The Musical and Pandora Utility Su

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