As the Disney-Fox merger comes to a close, many are raising questions about what’s going to change in the process of the acquisition. While neither studio has formally announced what the deal will mean when it comes to future movie and TV productions, one thing’s a no-brainer: when companies merge, layoffs are bound to happen. And as Cinemablend points out, two companies the size of Disney and Fox merging could lead to thousands of employees without work.
The popular entertainment news site shared this week that approximately 7,500 people are expected to face unemployment as a result of the merger. Even though much of the work that will go into combining these two film and television giants won’t begin until the merger is officially finalized, the impending layoffs are undeniable. When Disney and Fox merge, thousands of people with the same positions will technically be working for the same company. And because Disney is the company buying Fox, it only makes sense for Fox employees to be out of work as a result.
Of course, we would hate to see anyone lose their job as a result of this merger. In merging with Fox, Disney is acquiring Fox’s TV and movie studio, FX, Nat Geo, Star India, Fox’s 30% ownership of Hulu, and Fox’s 39% ownership of European media company Sky. With all of those studios, a part of the acquisition comes thousands of employees still in need of work, and their jobs won’t suddenly disappear if Disney wants to continue production of media under each. Disney has previously shared that fans of 21st Century Fox productions can rest assured that their favorite films and television shows won’t suddenly change or end just because Disney purchased Fox. So with all of the shows, films, and other media that fans will continue to want to see even after the merger, why lay off the thousands of employees who have been keeping those productions alive?
It’s also worth noting that Cinemablend isn’t the only news site reporting these predicted layoffs. Last month, International Business Times reported that up to 10,000 employees could lose work after the merger, with Fox employing 22,400 workers worldwide. The Hollywood Reporter also pointed out that “there will be bloodshed” once the merger is final:
Disney has promised $2 billion in cost savings, so more than 4,000 layoffs are expected (though Disney-skeptic analyst Rich Greenfield puts the number at 5,000 to 10,000 over time). It’s harder to predict potential layoffs within the Fox film studio itself, which has about 3,200 employees, but cuts are expected to be especially deep, particularly in overlapping divisions such as marketing, distribution and home entertainment.
Neither Disney nor Fax have come forward and announced these potential layoffs, so nothing is for sure yet. Since Fox will remain under its own umbrella just as Marvel and Lucasfilm have, the merger doesn’t guarantee that all Fox employees will lose their jobs. But it doesn’t guarantee that they will get to keep them, either. With a merger of this size, thousands of people will be vying for the same jobs, and Disney will likely only want to employ so many of them, regardless of how talented or experienced they may be. Cinemablend reports that nobody is immune to layoffs, so whether or not over 7,000 people will be unemployed post-merger, only time will tell.