Cirque Du Soleil Lays Off 95% of Staff After COVID-19 Shutdown
With the widespread reach of the pandemic on Cirque Du Soleil products both stateside and abroad, the company has decided to lay off 95% of its 4,679 staff members as of March 19,2020. This according to a recent piece in Forbes.
According to the piece, Cirque du Soleil will keep a scaled-down staff of 259 to maintain “basic operations.”
Co-Founder Guy Laliberte said in an official statement, “We have no choice but to accept that the current global instability is pushing companies to take drastic measures to ensure their long-term sustainability. This climate of uncertainty, unfortunately, affects the entire entertainment industry and the Cirque du Soleil is no exception. Let us hope that this situation is resolved quickly and produces a positive outcome for all.”
In addition to the Drawn To Life production at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World, the company had 44 shows worldwide including 6 in Las Vegas that were all shut down beginning March 15th.
The CEO of Cirque, Daniel Lamarre addressed the decision to let staff members go, “As we speak today, there is no revenue coming in for the company, and I don’t know when it will come back, which is why we’re doing what we are doing. We have laid off most of our employees and we will keep just a small fraction of employees to be able, whenever the situation is stabilized, to come back in a short period of time. ”
Cinemas, nightclubs and performers have been among the hardest hit by the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as voluntary and compulsory rules about social distancing. Scores of high-profile concerts and festivals have been cancelled and the Las Vegas Strip shut down for the first time in a bid to slow the spread of the pneumonialike virus.
Former street performer Guy Laliberté cofounded Cirque du Soleil in 1984 and turned the modern circus show into one of the world’s biggest entertainment companies. Laliberté sold much of his 90% stake in the business to private equity firm TPG Global for $1.5 billion in 2015.
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