Things continue to be quite dire for the movie theater industry. Last week, AMC Theatres shut down all of its U.S. and Canadian locations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now there’s word the company has furloughed more than 600 corporate employees, including its CEO. The good news: all furloughed corporate employees will retain active employment status, which includes heh benefits. The bad news: employees have reduced working hours and reduced pay – or in some cases no hours and no pay.
Variety and others are reporting that AMC Theatres has furloughed 600-plus corporate employees, including CEO Adam Aron. Last week, AMC shut down 634 locations in the U.S. and Canada, as well as over 1,000 venues worldwide. As a result, over 26,000 theater employees have either been furloughed or laid off. AMC has no source of revenue at the moment. In short, things are bad.
Regarding the news, the company released the following statement: “As we all know, these are unprecedented times…AMC is doing everything possible to ensure that we can welcome back both our associates and our guests as our theatres reopen.” While the company also adds that they don’t plan to fire their corporate employees, the furlough is necessary to “preserve cash and ensure the circuits globally can reopen when the world has recovered from the coronavirus crisis.”
When the theaters were closed last week, CEO Adam Aaron said:
“We are ever so disappointed for our moviegoing guests and for our employee teams that the new CDC guidelines that Americans should not gather in groups larger than 10 people make it impossible to open our theatres. Still, the heh and wellbeing of AMC guests and employees, and of all Americans, takes precedence above all else. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and look forward to the day we can again delight moviegoers nationwide by reopening AMC movie theatres in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local heh authorities.”
There’s a serious concern right now that many theaters – AMC included – will never be able to recover from this. No one was prepared for such a massive shutdown, and the money simply isn’t there. Theater owners have even reached out to Congress to ask for a bailout. It doesn’t help that there’s no official end in sight at the moment. AMC originally estimated the closures would last 6 to 12 months – but that could also change, given the situation.
Meanwhile, in better news, a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise money for New York City movie theater workers who have been laid off/furloughed has surpassed its goal. The Cinema Workers Solidarity Fund set out to raise $74,000, and has so far pulled in $75,322 in donations – and it’s still climbing. So there’s a bit of a bright side for you.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the subject of the Netflix docuseries, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his part in a murder-for-hire plot.
The star of the popular Netflix docuseriesTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is currently in isolation behind bars out of an abundance of caution during the coronavirus pandemic.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka 'Joe Exotic,' the Tiger King, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his part in a murder-for-hire plot.
Maldonado-Passage's husband, Dillon Passage, recently spoke with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM's Radio Andy and said that the former zoo owner has been placed in COVID-19 isolation.
Maldonado-Passage is not necessarily thought to be infected, but since he recently transferred from a prison with multiple cases, he was placed in isolation for safety, his husband told Cohen.
The Netflix series has become wildly popular, dominating entertainment news coverage.
Florida authorities on Tuesday confirmed tips have been rolling in daily concerning a cold case featured in the docuseries.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister of Tampa addressed local media regarding the disappearance of Jack Donald 'Don' Lewis, saying the sheriff held a meeting on Monday regarding the case and will be reviewing “a lot of the evidence.'
The sheriff also said his office was getting at least six tips a day, as Chronister on Monday asked for new leads amid all the interest in the show. The 1997 disappearance of Lewis is part of the Netflix series.
Listen to the entire interview below.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Comcast has also committed $500 million to support employees impacted by the pandemic.
NBCUniversal and other parts of the Comcast family on Wednesday internally unveiled measures to support employees and others impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Top executives, including Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, CFO Mike Cavanagh, Comcast Cable CEO Dave Watson, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, are donating their salaries to charities engaged in coronavirus relief until the virus crisis passes.
Roberts, in a memo obtained by THR, also said that Comcast was committing $500 million to help staff with pay and benefits if their business units have been shut down due to the pandemic.
"Across our businesses, we have committed $500 million to support our employees through continued pay and benefits where operations have been paused or impacted, and we have committed significant resources to support our customers," Roberts wrote. "Additionally, effective today, and for the duration of this situation, our senior leaders, Mike Cavanagh, Dave Watson, Jeff Shell, Jeremy Darroch and I have chosen to donate 100 percent of our salaries to charities that support COVID-19 relief efforts," Roberts wrote.
Roberts' 2018 salary came to $3.2 million, while CFO Cavanagh's salary was $1.95 million that year and then-NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke took home a salary of $2.96 million in 2018. Comcast has yet to announce its executive compensation for 2019.
Roberts, his wife Aileen and their family previously said they were donating $5 million for the Philadelphia public school system to buy laptops for students doing online learning as local schools closed down during the coronavirus crisis.
Comcast is the latest media and entertainment company to unveil that top executives were forging their salaries amid the virus crisis, following the likes of the Walt Disney Co.
Read Comcast chairman and CEO Roberts' full memo to Comcast staff below:
As our world changes by the minute with the new reality that COVID-19 brings, I continue to be amazed and inspired by our people and the human spirit at Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky. This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for our society. None of us has ever experienced anything like this before, and while it is easy to get mired in the many challenges we are all facing, I think that in uncertain times like these it is incumbent upon us to remain optimistic and look for the good, even if it can be elusive.
One of the bright spots for me has been watching our employees on the frontlines go above and beyond. Our Comcast and Sky engineers, technicians and call center representatives are working around the clock to keep our network running and make sure our customers maintain their vital internet connectivity. Our NBC and Sky news organizations are keeping our world informed — setting up remote...