After Thousands of Layoffs, Disney Opens Eleven Jobs for Controversial Positions

disney cost cuts AI task force
Credit: Disney; Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Artificial Intelligence is sweeping the world, and Disney is riding the wave! The Walt Disney Company has set up a task force to explore AI further and look into how it can optimize its operations and cut costs.

The Walt Disney Company has had a difficult year. From box office flops and losing close to $1 billion on movies that didn’t hit the mark to announcing and enacting 7000-person layoffs in one of the most significant restructures of a company, it’s been a challenging time. However, amidst these changes, Disney CEO Bob Iger has also been making questionable statements and decisions that have left fans confused.

While fans are confused about what the Walt Disney Company is doing, in the meanwhile, Disney is busy planning its foray and adoption of Artificial Intelligence, the controversial technology that has been a big part of the recent SAG-AFTRA strike.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: Loren Javier, Flickr

Actors and Professionals Demand Job Security with AI

The WGA has been on strike for months now for unfair contracts and treatment on their jobs, calling on Hollywood studios to treat their writers better. Of their demands, one of the most notable ones was that they ensure job security with the advent and adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the entertainment industry.

However, studios have been seemingly uncaring of these demands, with one anonymous studio executive reportedly saying, “The studios would hold out on meeting with the WGA again until its members went broke.”

Disney Actors residuals stories are horrifying

Meredith Stiehm, left, president of Writers Guild of America West, and Fran Drescher, president of SAG-AFTRA / Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

Disney Working on a Task Force to Further Incorporate AI Into Operations

As fellow studios are doing, Disney seems uncaring not only of the strike demands—thanks to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s tasteless remarks—but they are actively hiring after major layoffs earlier this year to create a task force that will work on the incorporation of AI across the entertainment conglomerate.

Reuters reported, “Disney has 11 current job openings seeking candidates with expertise in artificial intelligence or machine learning.” The article elaborated that the job openings “touch virtually every corner of the company —from Walt Disney Studios to the company’s theme parks and engineering group, Walt Disney Imagineering, to Disney-branded television and the advertising team, which is looking to build a ‘next-generation’ AI-powered ad system.”

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Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

An anonymous internal advocate of the AI task force explained that this could have long-term positive impacts on cost-cutting to help control the soaring costs of movie and television production; they added that legacy media companies like Disney needed to “figure out AI or risk obsolescence.”

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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