Stop motion: Laika lays off 50+ during pandemic

Coronavirus

Hillsboro-based animator hopes to rehire staff

LAIKA Missing Link behind the scenes 04122019_1555098225694.jpg.jpg

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Laika, the Golden Globe-winning Hillsboro-based stop motion animation studio, will lay off more than 50 employees out of their “desire to keep its employees safe.”

The studio informed officials in Oregon about the impending layoffs, which are expected to begin September 1.

The decision, they said, is firmly rooted in the science about the COVID-19 pandemic. “Recent evidence suggests that COVID-19 transmission may be airborne,” they said, meaning that to keep Laika workers safe requires them to “simplify operations and implement and maintain safety protocols that minimize staff in close quarters and breathing the same air, for the foreseeable future.”

In the WARN letter to state officials, Laika said they hope the reduction is temporary and they can rehire their full workforce. But, they added, “the Studio does not know when business may return to some some of normal and cannot make any guarantees about reemployment.”

The Hollywood Reporter said Laika employs 362 staffers at its Hillsboro office, with only essential staff on-site and the majority working remotely.

In 2019, their “Missing Link” won a Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination. Their other titles inclued Kubo and the Two Strings, Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline.

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