The Actors’ Equity Association is calling on Walt Disney World to postpone its July 11 reopening due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“If Disneyland has postponed, it is unclear how Walt Disney World can responsibly move toward reopening when coronavirus cases are much worse in Florida,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “For weeks, we have made it clear to Disney that testing is a fundamental part of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone, from the guests to the cast.”
McColl continued, “It is deeply disturbing that while coronavirus cases in Florida surge, Disney is refusing to provide regular testing to one of the few groups of workers in the park who by the very nature of their jobs, cannot use personal protective equipment. Now is the time for Disney to pause, focus on the science and put the safety of their actors and stage managers first by making regular testing available.”
Coronavirus cases continue to soar in Florida, where Walt Disney World is located. The state reported having more than 114,000 confirmed cases on June 25, a jump of about 5,000 cases over the previous day. The state has had at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.
The union said it was concerned that not enough testing was planned for the parks’ actors who are unable to use face masks when doing their jobs. The union represents about 600 actors at Disney World, out of a total workforce of 77,000 employees at the theme park resort.
Orlando’s other major theme park resorts — Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando — started welcoming back visitors earlier this month.