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Disney issues pink slips to employees at Pixar

The entrance of Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California as it appeared in 2007.
The entrance of Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California as it appeared in 2007. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Walt Disney Company has moved forward with plans to lay off nearly 200 workers at Pixar Animation Studios.

The plan involves a 15 percent reduction in Pixar’s head count, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Other media reports put the figure somewhere between 14 and 20 percent, impacting more than 175 jobs.

The job losses are part of a broader strategy at Disney to reign in content spending across its various entertainment businesses, including film and television. Last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company would dramatically reduce financial investments in its traditional broadcast and cable networks as more consumers shift toward direct-to-consumer streaming platforms.

But those platforms are also expected to generate returns on the company’s content and marketing investments, one source told The Desk on Tuesday, warning that “no division at the company will be spared” if executives cannot justify continued spending on certain matters.

Pixar has produced fewer hits relative to other studios over the past few years. Like its peers, Disney faced a steep drop in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic, when movie studios were forced to close their doors over health and safety concerns. While theaters have since re-opened, Pixar’s films have not generated as much interest compared to movies put out by other studios.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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