Cirque du Soleil lays off 95 percent of its employees

Mar 20, 2020 in "Cirque du Soleil"

The latest Cirque du Soleil production Drawn to Life was planned to make its debut at Disney Springs today, but instead, the company is laying off 95% of its workforce as all of its shows worldwide are suspended due to coronavirus.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the company will let go 4679 employees, keeping just 259 to maintain basic operations including 39 in Orlando and Las Vegas.

The company has 44 shows around the world, and has been a resident of Disney Springs since 1999. Cirque and Disney began selling tickets for Drawn to Life in August last year for preview shows beginning March 20 2020. The show was then planned to officially open April 17 2020 with tickets costing $62 up to $152 depending on seating.

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Mar 20, 2020 / 8:12am ET
View all comments →

havoc3151 minute ago

It's going to end eventually. But, drop the sarcasm... there has been an upward blip. It may just be statistical noise, but may represent a 4th wave start now. IHME model predicts continuing downward trend but includes the possibility that we are starting another wave (not nearly as big as the last wave): Really showing the range of uncertainty, IHME is predicting that by the end of May, the daily # of infections will be between 3,333 and 112,000, with their best estimate at 15,420 by the end of May. I'll go out on a limb: If we are at 3,333 by the end of May (the most extreme scenario they project), then we go back to "normal" by July/August. If we are at 15,420 by end of May, then we are on track to rip off our masks by the fall. If we are in the 40,000 - 100,000 range by the end of May... then I don't see how we get out of this before the end of the year.

havoc3159 minutes ago

What you're saying should be the message -- That's what I'm hearing. I haven't heard anyone to say "no normal until 2022." It's important to read beyond the headlines. The media sensationalizes stories in the headline, often picking an outlying part of the story. It's not even the journalists writing the story who pick the headline -- it's an editor who picks the headline in order to grab attention. For example: Washington Post headline from last week: "When will we return to normal? The question looms as Fauci says mask-wearing may continue in 2022." Now, even the headline doesn't have Fauci saying mask-wearing WILL continue until 2022. Just "may" continue. So they decided the "maybe" we worthy of the headline, in order to sensationalize. So what did Fauci actually say: “No, you know, I can’t say that, Dana,” Fauci told CNN’s Dana Bash when she asked him on Sunday whether his timeline for a return to normality had been pushed back by a year or more. “Because then it will be a sound bite that’s not true. I’m saying: We don’t know." So, all he said if "he didn't know" if we would need masks in 2022.. His further message was almost exactly what you said: “I want it to keep going down to a baseline that’s so low there is virtually no threat,” Fauci said. “If you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you’re going to be able to say, you know, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to wear masks.” So, he gave no timeline -- he just said that "if you get lots of people vaccinated and it gets the level of the virus to a very very very low level" then we won't generally need masks. Sadly, what we are already seeing, is a rush to normalization whenever the *trend* of the numbers looks good. "Numbers are on their way down, time to re-open!" What Fauci is warning us about -- and I don't know how much patience there will be for it -- You really have to wait for the numbers to sink to a minimal level BEFORE you rip off your masks. (I read it comments to suggest he wants to see us down to well under 1000 cases per day... probably more like under 100 per day, before we re-open. Much like Australia is now down to an average of 5 cases per day. When adjusted for population, that's 65 cases per day in the US.

GoofGoof12 minutes ago

Interesting. I wouldn’t hold off on the vaccine since they may alter that policy at any time. I assume the 3 months is only because that’s the longest we have for people from the general public being vaccinated. I think they did that to avoid people who were naturally infected possibly up to a year ago now saying they are immune too so shouldn’t need to show proof.

Touchdown17 minutes ago

First I only said if it proves ineffective against the SA strain, studies are on going. Stop getting so touchy. Second, AZ is a two series shot, J&J is a one series shot both are cheap and easy to store. Eventually, once production is up and running, J&J is going to overtake AZ in popularity and with COVEX as it is a lot easier to fully vaccinate hard to reach areas with a one series shot vs a double one.

GoofGoof38 minutes ago

I don’t see it as over promising if you never promise anything. Again, if you tell people to get vaccinated as soon as possible because that’s the fastest way to a return to normal I think that’s the right set of talking points. I’m not worried about rebellion either. We had rebellion for the last 9 months when a small group of people didn’t want to follow simple safety protocols. That won’t change, they still don’t want to follow and certainly won’t be any more willing if you tell them we’re keeping them around for 9+ months longer. I don’t think we need to slow play the whole situation to placate those snowflakes. Tell people your honest best guess on timelines, tell them it’s a best guess not a promise and that nothing is guaranteed because there are a ton of variables and if something derails the process or even slightly delays it come back to me as soon as you know that and tell me there’s a delay and why. The vast majority of Americans can handle that and will appreciate that approach vs being told no return to normal until 2022 because there’s a chance that could actually happen.

robhedin43 minutes ago

We're scheduled to go to Hawaii the beginning of October for a couple of weeks. They're one of the few states that seem to have a fairly strict entry policy -- either present with a valid completed vaccination series that is no older than 3 months, or bring a negative test that is no more than 72 hours old (and depending on where you're going, plan on taking another on arrival), or go into a 10 day quarantine. My wife and I asked our doctor if we should get the vaccine as soon as we're eligible or hold off on it until July in order to avoid the travel hassle. Interestingly, he didn't push either way and seemed fairly open to waiting. We haven't made a decision yet, so I guess we'll see.

lisa1200045 minutes ago

You do realise that to not allow people into the US who have had a WHO approved vaccine which is going to be the mainstay for the most of the countries around the world, many of whom are regular visitors to the US, is very unlikely. All of the real time information coming out about AstraZeneca suggests that one shot is actually more effective in terms of hospitalisations and severe illness than Pfizer. There is nowhere enough evidence on any of the vaccines in terms of the SA variant however the likelihood is that there will be significant protection from severe disease and hospitalisation from all of them - more research needs to be done and in addition every one is looking at boosters. I find it shocking yet again some of the talk about AZ, and saying its not the UK's finest hour! seriously the level of snobbery about certain vaccines against others is staggering! and you are talking about excluding UK tourists for how long? forever? because they had AZ rather than Pfizer? and many EU tourists as well as they are going to be using it quite substantially and are reversing their original decision about the over 65s due to the real life evidence they are seeing from the UK! not forgetting India and every country on the Covax scheme which is mainly AZ as well? again I go back to my comments a few days earlier - it is our responsibility on these boards not to perpetuate fears about certain vaccine that may lead to vaccine hesitancy in any nation - now you dont know any more than me but to read your comment you would thing that you know that it wont be approved (no suggestion of this atm) and those who have had it definitely wont be allowed in the US - people who read this will be more hesitant to get this vaccine in other countries and I think thats irresponsible. Look at UK figures, look at the cases and esp the death rate in the UK esp in the over 80s and realise that we must be doing something right right now! we have had just over 6000 cases today and sadly 190 deaths for 67 million people - I think that the UK is doing okay right now! despite our apparently crap vaccine!

GoofGoof58 minutes ago

The vaccines are nearly 100% effective at keeping people out of hospitals and dying. Outside of that there are no guarantees. I can say with near 100% certainty that the plan will not be to remove all Covid restrictions once the 65+ crowd is vaccinated. Anyone expecting that is going to be highly disappointed come April when that doesn’t happen.

Incomudro1 hour ago

"Cases" as in case numbers won't matter if the infected aren't ending up in hospitals and/or dying.

havoc3151 hour ago

I wonder what number of employers will really enforce it. I'll respectfully disagree on "talking points." I think making any sort of high-confidence prediction is counterproductive. If the prediction turns out to be too optimistic, you'll get rebellion when people get told,"we know you thought it would be normal by XXX. but we actually need a few more months." I do believe there should be more transparency. But I'm fine with generally preparing for the public that it *could* go into next year. I haven't seen many saying it *will* go into next year. I'm fine with a general talking point encouraging people to vaccinate... with the basis of, "the faster we vaccinate enough people, the faster things may return to normal." But I'd be careful about over-promising. Though unlikely, it's not exactly impossible that we vaccinate 90% by July, but find there are even newer variants wreaking havoc... and we need to extend mitigation until we can get boosters widely distributed. (to be clear, I believe that's an unlikely scenario but not a "no chance" scenario. ) Guess I'd say, "prepare for the worst, plan for most likely but hope for the most optimistic possible outcome."

ParentsOf41 hour ago

During the February 4, 2020 earning call, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy stated: Let me take the domestic park question on international visitation. We have typically run in the 18% to 22% range for guests outside of the U.S. We're at the low end of that range, maybe a tick below, right now because some of the South American markets because of the disruption in those economies have had lower visitation. The two I would cite would be -- that won't be a surprise to anyone -- would be Brazil and Argentina. In general, the parks do not have a significant amount of visitation from Asia. When you look at Walt Disney World, no Asian markets even factors into the top 5. And the top 1 being the U.K. -- which I think everyone knows that -- and then we have Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. That is for the East Coast, Walt Disney World. Since this earnings call was for 1Q2020 (i.e. October to December 2019), this is the last full quarter that was not impacted by COVID.

lazyboy97o1 hour ago

Just because we’ve done something for thousands of years is a lousy reason to continue doing it.

Flugell1 hour ago

https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-recommends-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-against-south-africa-strain-11612977926 Absolutely incorrect about Astra Zeneca though agree that initially there was some confusion. However it has now been agreed that the “error” was beneficial as the longer gap between doses actually improves the effectiveness of the vaccine, weird but true! The speed of our vaccination programme is absolutely one of our finest hours and like the USA we haven’t had many! No problem with countries enforcing restrictions on entry to overseas travellers -we are currently “doing” enforced quarantine but are also enforcing quarantine for our returning citizens.

GoofGoof1 hour ago

The travel quarantines are largely not enforced by the government. Where they come into play is individual employers enforcing the same requirements. People may not comply with the government mandate because there’s no real punishment if you don’t comply but if they face losing their job over not complying that’s a different story. I know a few people who cancelled trips because they didn’t want to take that much time off of work. Schools are also enforcing it near me so kids who travel have to do virtual school when they get back for the quarantine period. I think the main talking point should be that we don’t know when the return to normal will be for certain but that it definitely won’t be until enough people get vaccinated. The sooner people get vaccinated the sooner we get back to normal. Making predictions that it will be 9-12 months from now is counterproductive.