The Hollywood production and distribution company Fifth Season laid off 12 percent of its staff, or 30 positions, on Thursday due to the impact of the writers’ and actors’ strikes.
The company, formerly known as Endeavor Content, was itself founded after a battle over packaging fees between Endeavor and the Writers Guild of America, in which the talent agency had to divest a majority stake in the company in order to represent writers. Since 2017, the company has been operating under the name Endeavor Content.
The fifth season is now largely controlled by South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM, with Endeavor retaining a minority stake. The studio has been responsible for shows like Apple’s DisconnectionAMCs kill Eve and the movie 80 for Brady, among other things.
Eight people out of 220 employees had already been laid off from the company at the end of April, ahead of both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. The positions eliminated on Thursday included executive and administrative positions.
The company now hopes for a “quick resolution” to the strikes, which began on May 2 and July 14, respectively, and have taken a “financial, creative and emotional toll,” according to a statement from a company spokesperson.
“Today we have made the difficult decision to reduce the Fifth Season’s workforce due to the impact on our business as a result of the ongoing dispute between the AMPTP and WGA & SAG-AFTRA. This resulted in the loss of 30 positions in managerial and administrative positions, approximately 12% of our workforce,” said the company representative. Our team is extraordinary and the downsizing of the workforce by even one person, let alone many, is heartbreaking. We are hopeful that the growing financial, creative and emotional toll of these strikes can be mitigated with a swift resolution and that everyone in our industry can return to the business we are all passionate about: storytelling. We will come out of this period well-positioned and ready to return to producing great films and television series.”
This is the latest company to have suffered financial pain as a result of the strikes. Talent agency CAA said goodbye to 60 employees this month. And Endeavor, which owns talent agency WME in addition to UFC, has said it expects the impact of the strikes to be about $25 million a month.
The WGA and the studios and streamers will resume talks on Aug. 11, but on Thursday the guild called the recent counteroffer on the table “nothing, nor enough.”