25-Apr-2020 • Bond News
MGM, the studio which owns 50% of the James Bond film rights, and their distributor United Artists Releasing has laid off or furloughed staff.
"Around 50 people, roughly 7% of MGM’s 750-person workforce, was eliminated on Friday", insiders told Variety. "The cuts impacted the entire operation, including scripted and unscripted television and feature film departments."
United Artists Releasing, which is joint-owned by MGM and Annapruna, deferred employment for one-third of its staff of 80.
“In the face of these global economic and industry business challenges, we have undertaken certain actions to mitigate the current financial impact on our business and to ensure MGM is well positioned for the future,” the company’s senior management said Friday in a memo, obtained by Variety. “Unfortunately, these changes necessitate some permanent reductions of our workforce. All impacted employees have been notified.”
When the 25th adventure 'No Time To Die' had its release delayed from April to November due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is estimated that MGM lost $30m in sunk marketing expenses.
The MGM memo to staff in full:
We are writing today to provide an update on MGM’s response to COVID-19 and the steps we are taking to address the current challenges facing our industry and to ensure the continued strength of our company. Our priority remains the health and well-being of the employees, talent and critical support staff who together produce and distribute MGM’s exceptional content.
While MGM remains in a strong position overall, the extraordinary events related to the global pandemic have impacted our entire industry, with virtually all global productions currently on hold and film releases delayed. The most difficult part of this situation from a business perspective, as you can imagine, is that we do not know when this will change.
In the face of these global economic and industry business challenges, we have undertaken certain actions to mitigate the current financial impact on our business and to ensure MGM is well positioned for the future. To that end, we are reconfiguring certain divisions of the studio to allow MGM to operate more effectively in a changing media landscape, both during this pandemic, and beyond. Unfortunately, these changes necessitate some permanent reductions of our workforce. All impacted employees have been notified.
The MGM senior management team have taken voluntary pay reductions across all divisions of the company.
Please know that we did not make these decisions lightly. We are deeply grateful to our friends and colleagues for their contributions to the studio and are working to support them with this transition.
We remain committed to facing these challenging circumstances together and are confident MGM will emerge stronger on the other side. Our content is performing extremely well and our library, one of Hollywood’s largest, is as valuable and as productive as ever both in the U.S. and abroad. MGM will continue to operate our business for long term success.
Thank you to everyone in the MGM family during this ever-changing situation and to all those who continue to successfully manage our global operations under incredibly difficult conditions.
Stay safe and well,