Yesterday, Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks and Experiences, Products was spotted at Downtown Disney spending time with Cast Members on the heels of the massive layoff announcement by Disney. When people noticed this they took to Twitter to share and react to the news.
This is the statement letter from Josh D’Amaro to Disney Cast Members regarding layoffs:
September 29, 2020
I write this note to you today to share some difficult decisions that we have had to make regarding our Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products organization.
Let me start with my belief that the heart and soul of our business is and always will be people. Just like all of you, I love what I do. I also love being surrounded by people who think about their roles as more than jobs, but as opportunities to be a part of something special, something different, and something truly magical.
Earlier this year, in response to the pandemic, we were forced to close our businesses around the world. Few of us could have imagined how significantly the pandemic would impact us — both at work and in our daily lives. We initially hoped that this situation would be short-lived, and that we would recover quickly and return to normal. Seven months later, we find that has not been the case. And, as a result, today we are now forced to reduce the size of our team across executive, salaried, and hourly roles.
As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy. For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity.
As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic.
Thank you for your dedication, patience and understanding during these difficult times. I know that these changes will be challenging. It will take time for all of us to process this information and its impact. We will be scheduling appointments with our affected salaried and non-union hourly employees over the next few days. Additionally, today we will begin the process of discussing next steps with unions. We encourage you to visit The Hub or the WDI Homepage for any support you may need.
For those who will be affected by this decision, I want to thank you for all that you have done for our company and our guests. While we don’t know when the pandemic will be behind us, we are confident in our resilience, and hope to welcome back Cast Members and employees when we can.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
And the day after the layoffs were announced, D’Amaro spent time with Disneyland Resort Cast Members.
The first tweet from @powerfuldog on twitter says Josh D’Amaro was apologizing to Cast Members and even letting them vent their frustrations to him.
Josh D'Amaro was in DTD all day apologizing to cast members, letting us vent, cry, and whatnot. He probably would let us punch him if we wanted. A lot execs would stay home, but I have to credit Josh for facing the music. The guy looked absolutely defeated.
— Nate Pester (@powerfuldog) October 1, 2020
This next post comes to us from @Kslone4 in a twitter thread explaining how Josh D’Amaro was doing “crisis management”.
My son works for Disney in Anaheim and the cast-members got a surprise visit from Josh D'amaro today. He thanked all of them for working during the pandemic. 😉In other words, he was doing some crisis management.
— Kslone (@Kslone4) September 30, 2020
More Twitter users give their take in response to @powerfuldog’s original post.
This is why I have so much respect for Josh D’Amaro. This is a very hard, scary time for Cast Members and we’re all mad but he gets in front of them instead of staying away. He’s a very cast oriented person. I know this has got to be just as hard on him. I place no blame on him https://t.co/yFEpwsMY7f
— Darin Munnell (@BigD923) October 1, 2020
As we know Disney has been going back and forth with local California governing bodies over the reopening of Disneyland. So far there is still no word on when the theme parks in California will be able to reopen, however, Disney does cite the prolonged closure as a key reason for the layoffs.
This is exactly why I think Josh D'Amaro is so brilliant. So much respect for that guy, genuinely cares about the parks and the cast and it shows. I have no doubt he'll be devastated it's got to this, and we've just got to remember the mass cuts are likely not his doing. https://t.co/zSGpV5bar7
— Nathan Staker ✨ (@NathanStaker1) October 1, 2020
I just saw that Josh D'Amaro was in DTD yesterday talking with CMs and listening to their frustrations, sadness and consoling them. That couldn't have been easy to do…
Can 2020 just be over already? Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – 2021 is here?
— Benjamin Spaulding (@bensweeps) October 1, 2020
Josh D’Amaro for President. Disney or United States? — honestly doesn’t matter.
— Mr. jingle h. schmidt (@jjingle_schmidt) October 1, 2020
Josh D'Amaro is literally the only higher up I've seen taking any kind of action since the announcements of the layoffs. He's the only one that cares about the cast member first.
— Ashleigh McGaha (@ashmarie9501) October 1, 2020
If you would like to help Cast Members while they go through this very difficult time we encourage you to visit and read this article, which details the way in which you can make a meaningful difference to those who have lost their livelihoods at Disney.
Let us know what your thoughts on this situation are in the comments below.