The dark side of the Disney/Fox merger is continuing to rear its ugly head. The deal between Disney and Fox officially went into effect in March after more than a year of legal hurdles and various complications that needed to be overcome in order to make the Mouse House, quite easily, one of the most powerful media companies in the world, if not the single most powerful. While there are elements of the deal that are exciting, for Marvel fans specifically, there are also less favorable side effects. Case in point, even more people are about to be out of a job.
According to a new report, dozens of employees, both from the Disney and Fox side of the aisle, are about to be let go. It’s unclear who exactly will be fired, nor was an exact figure given. This is also said to be the smallest round of layoffs that have come following the merger, but it certainly won’t be the last. As the merger loomed, multiple reports stated that the landmark deal would result in hundreds, if not thousands, of layoffs that would come as a result of redundancies within the new corporate structure.
Disney spent $71.3 billion for the majority of media assets held by the company formerly known as 21st Century Fox. This included all of the 20th Century Fox movie studio, their share in Hulu and several key networks, such as FX and National Geographic. Because Fox had been operating its own, independent media-driven businesses, there were, inevitably, going to be jobs that suddenly became unnecessary as a result of the two massive corporations being joined together. For example, Disney decided to shut down the Fox 2000 label shortly after the merger was complete, which proved to be a pretty unpopular decision.
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When the deal was initially announced back in December 2017, much attention was paid to the fact that the X-Men and Fantastic Four rights would finally be in the hands of Marvel Studios, meaning those characters can eventually be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This, thanks to the fact that the rights were held by 20th Century Fox and, since Disney owns all of Marvel, they can hand the characters over to Kevin Feige and let him do what he does best. As exciting as that prospect is, the potentially negative aspects of the merger were a bit overshadowed.
Not only are employees going to be out of a job, but for moviegoers, this will have serious ramifications. Without 20th Century Fox, there is one less major studio out there for creatives to take their ideas. There will also be less competition in the marketplace and, very likely, fewer movies released by major studios in a given year, since Disney can’t possibly keep up the release schedules as they were for both banners. This latest round of layoffs is a sobering reminder that this merger is all about taking the good with the bad. This news comes to us via Variety.