Amidst all the excitement about what the Disney-Fox deal means from a content perspective is the unfortunate reality that, as is the case with most corporate mergers, some people will lose their jobs. One of those people is 20th Century Fox Film Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider. The executive spoke about what it has been like presiding over 20th Century Fox with the Disney purchase and the inevitable job losses looming, saying:
It's been really challenging to manage a company for almost a whole year knowing that these cuts are coming. Most of the employees at Fox have been there for decades. They've given most of their careers to Fox. Many of them are hanging on to see if there will be an opportunity at Disney. My job for the last year has also been chairman of human emotions and resident shoulder to cry on. There's going to be a lot of job loss. However, and this is not to diminish the pain people will go through, but time waits for no one. This will not be the first or last consolidation the industry sees.
We've heard about how Fox employees have been working under the dread that they may soon be out of a job, and that's what Stacey Snider echoes here. Many of the Fox employees have been there for a long time and they are now facing the real possibility that they may be out of a job. With the inevitable cuts coming, they are all just hoping and praying that there will be a place for them under the new regime.
It must be very difficult to keep things running in a business as usual fashion under these circumstances, and as Stacey Snider told Variety, consoling employees as they face this uncertainty has become part of her job since the purchase was announced.
This is all really sad to hear, but unfortunately, as Stacey Snider notes, that's the nature of these things and it won't be the last time that this happens, either in this industry or any other. Yet the realities of capitalism don't make the situation any less difficult, nor do they make the day-to-day of the employees any easier. Stacey Snider explained what things have been like at the studio and the tension in the air, saying:
There's definitely been some jockeying for positions, and I think everyone at the company has had a combination of good days and bad days. There are days when they are being consoled, and then they're the ones consoling someone else. When you have a bad day, I've said to people, either throw yourself into your work or if that's not working, leave, go work out. This is an extraordinary situation, and no one is going to be docked for missing an hour or two. Do the best you can, and be kind to each other. That advice is followed by some people some days and other people other days, and sometimes it just gets completely flushed down the fucking toilet.)
As much as we want to see the X-Men in the MCU, hearing things like this certainly casts a pall over the whole affair. Not that our sympathy would do anything to influence the shift in the business landscape or the billions of dollars changing hands.
Given the nature of the situation though, it is nice to hear that Stacey Snider and the team at 20th Century Fox are being understanding that this is not an easy thing to go through and some employees may need a break every now and then or a shoulder to cry on.
Sure, there is a bit of competition to be one of the employees that Disney keeps on, but overall it seems like Stacey Snider is trying to foster an environment of understanding and compassion, and that is to be commended, especially considering that she is among the people who are losing their jobs. So while her own future is uncertain, she still needs to keep things together for her employees.
The time when many of these employees will find out their fates probably isn't too far off now. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year and Fox will be ready logistically as soon as January 1. Once the deal closes, a massive shift in the entertainment landscape will begin, one that we may not fully realize the scope of for years to come.
Hopefully all the talented people at 20th Century Fox who get laid off as a result of the Disney purchase can find work elsewhere and continue to bring stories to the world.
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