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Disney WHORES: ABC Hawks Lion King Prequel, Ignores 28,000 Layoffs



NewsBusters has long documented how ABC “News” has whored itself out to parent company Disney to promote its corporate products, everything from their streaming service Disney+ to films like Mulan. But this week, ABC showed what their priorities were when they gushed about Disney announcing a Lion King prequel was in the works, while at the same ignoring the announcement that they would be laying off 28,000 theme park and cruise ship employees.

Disney’s layoff announcement was released Tuesday and ABC’s World News Tonight completely ignored it. In contrast, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News each gave it airtime in the form of news briefs.

“Some crushing job news tonight that’s being blamed on the pandemic,” reported CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell that evening. “Disney says it is laying off 28,000 workers nationwide at its theme parks, stores, and cruises. Two-thirds are part-time employees. The company says there’s too much uncertainty about when business will rebound to keep a full staff.”

Come Wednesday morning, NBC’s Today gave the layoffs a full report slot featuring correspondent Kerry Sanders. “Disney World is the largest single-site employer in our country. 70,000 employees here in Orlando. Another 30,000 in California. And this morning, Disney will begin informing which employees will be getting laid off,” he told co-anchor Craig Melvin.

 

 

Adding: “It’s an unprecedented cutback. Disney announcing plans to lay off 28,000 workers. Most of them had already been on furlough for the last six months.” Sanders even admitted that the Florida theme park owned by their parent company, NBCUniversal “has also laid off an undisclosed number of employees.”

On Tuesday night, anchor Lester Holt reported that “Disney cited the pandemic for its struggles and criticized California for restrictions that have kept Disneyland closed.”

ABC’s Good Morning America could have read from Disney’s letter to the laid off staff like Kerry Sanders did: “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,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks wrote.

But instead, ABC correspondent Lara Spencer chose to kick off Wednesday’s “Pop News” segment with hype for a new Disney movie in the works:

The circle of life continues. This morning, Disney announcing a follow-up movie to last year’s live action version of The Lion King. This time with Oscar winner Barry Jenkins set to direct, the story will reportedly follow the rise of Simba’s father Mufasa. This will be Jenkins’ second project with Disney. He’s currently working on a biopic of dance legend Alvin Ailey.

Really ABC? Then again, this was the same network that suspended and ultimately fired correspondent David Wright for being caught on video griping about how, “You can’t watch Good Morning America without there being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing. It’s all self-promotion and promotion of the company. The commercial imperative is incompatible with news.”

Disney’s contact information can be found here. Let them know you want more news from ABC News and less corporate shilling.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
September 30, 2020
8:13:42 a.m. Eastern

LARA SPENCER: So much to get to so let’s just start with it now. The circle of life continues. This morning, Disney announcing a follow-up movie to last year’s live action version of The Lion King. This time with Oscar winner Barry Jenkins set to direct, the story will reportedly follow the rise of Simba’s father Mufasa. This will be Jenkins’ second project with Disney. He’s currently working on a biopic of dance legend Alvin Ailey.

CBS Evening News
September 29, 2020
6:50:13 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: Some crushing job news tonight that’s being blamed on the pandemic. Disney says it is laying off 28,000 workers nationwide at its theme parks, stores, and cruises. Two-thirds are part-time employees. The company says there’s too much uncertainty about when business will rebound to keep a full staff.

NBC’s Today
September 30, 2020
8:04:36 a.m. Eastern

CRAIG MELVIN: Among the businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, theme parks. While many of them have reopened, they’ve had to significantly reduce the number of guests inside. Now, Disney has announced it will lay off 28,000 employees. NBC’s Kerry Sanders is in Orlando with more on that. And Kerry, Disney of course the biggest employer there in Orlando.

KERRY SANDERS: Absolutely. Disney World is the largest single-site employer in our country. 70,000 employees here in Orlando. Another 30,000 in California. And this morning, Disney will begin informing which employees will be getting laid off. And all of this happening, of course, because of coronavirus.

[Cuts to video]

It’s an unprecedented cutback. Disney announcing plans to lay off 28,000 workers. Most of them had already been on furlough for the last six months.

In a message to employees obtained by NBC News, Disney’s park chairman, Josh D’Amaro writing, in part, “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.”

Analysts estimate an 80 percent drop in tourists at Disney World compared to last year. Disneyland in California still not open. The company’s most recent earnings report shows the COVID impact has cost Disney nearly $5 billion.

The pandemic has forced theme parks around the world to close. SeaWorld and LEGOLAND now operating with limited capacity. Universal Orlando Resort, part of our parent company NBCUniversal has also laid off an undisclosed number of employees.

This morning, Disney’s cast members wondering if the tourist economy will turn around and let them get back to work.

(…)



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