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Report: Disney Furloughs Affecting Employees Across Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Searchlight Film Departments

Stephanie Sengwe

It seems the closures of movie theaters and parks are hitting the Walt Disney Company as Variety reports that employees at each of the media giant’s film labels have been affected by furloughs. According to Variety, “staffers at labels like Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Searchlight and more were notified of furloughs, primarily impacting staffers who cannot perform their job duties due to ongoing shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Variety’s sources reveal that employees in the companies’ marketing and distribution departments are the latest to get hit, seeing as though a slew of theaters across the nation have been shuttered in an effort curb the coronavirus. A timeline for when the furloughs may end hasn’t been revealed.

Recently, Disney joined the list of studios digitally releasing their movies early due to the fact a lot of theater runs were cut short. On March 20, the media giant made “Onward,” a Pixar animated film, available for digital purchase months ahead of schedule. The film, which hit theaters on March 6, was available for streaming on Disney+ on April 3.

Earlier in March, Warner Bros. also announced the early digital release of “Birds of Prey.” The film, which is a spinoff to 2017’s “Suicide Squad,” was available on March 24 for $19.99.

Other studio films such as “The Hunt,” “Emma” and “The Invisible Man” also got an early VOD release on March 20. The films are available for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S.