Disney has started the process of laying off thousands of staff members around the world, Deadline reported Thursday.
The layoffs are impacting staffers in the U.S. and the EMEA region (comprising Europe, the Middle East and Africa), according to the outlet. Though the exact number of people who will lose their positions is currently unknown, Deadline noted that roughly 100 staffers were informed in mid-May that their positions were at risk of redundancy.
Marketing and press departments appear to be the main targets of the layoffs, sources told Deadline. Members of Disney’s talent acquisition, engineering and information technology departments are also at risk.
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Deadline suggested that the move was likely due to a global economic slowdown, a weak advertising market and the ongoing writer’s strike, which has held up production across the entire entertainment industry. Some of the departments facing cuts, such as IT, could also see workers replaced with artificial intelligence software, as Disney follows other major corporations in stepping up its use of AI.
A third round of cuts is expected here in the U.S., with some 2,500 people expected to lose their jobs in the coming weeks. (RELATED: Dear Kay: I Just Lost My Tech Job … To A Robot. Help!)
Disney first announced the layoffs in February. At the time, the plan was to cut roughly 7,000 staffers within the U.S. A similar number of staffers may lose their positions in the EMEA region, but that report has yet to be confirmed, Deadline noted.