Disney executives slam California for not allowing Disneyland to reopen sooner

Walt Disney Co. executives slammed California officials on Thursday for not allowing Disneyland to reopen, perhaps for months, as the company reported a nearly $600 million loss for its fourth quarter.

In an investor presentation Thursday, Christine McCarthy, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Disneyland would not reopen before year’s end because of California’s stringent coronavirus pandemic guidelines.

Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO, called California’s guidelines “arbitrary” and noted that the company has been able to safely reopen its other theme parks, including Disney World in Florida.

“We are very disappointed that the state of California continues to keep Disneyland closed,” he said.

Earlier this month, a group of California mayors sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to consider relaxing the guidelines so that Disneyland, Universal Orlando and other large theme parks could reopen sooner.

The mayors warned that the closures could last months and cost jobs and local economies already reeling from COVID-19 impacts.

Disney has laid off 28,000 employees in California and Florida. 

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