The WME hierarchy will lay off and furlough about 20% of its workforce on Monday (May 11) as the company moves to adapt to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy.

Screen understands the cuts do not affect anybody at Endeavor Content, which houses the film and TV packaging, financing, production and sales business.

However drastic action had been rumoured in Hollywood circles for some time. WME is owned by parent company Endeavor, which employs some 7,500 people.

Affected employees operate at all levels of WME (partner, agent, executive, and assistant) across all departments. The cuts are primarily among non-agent executives and support staff with the majority being in music given that department’s reliance on large public gatherings.

“WME is reducing its workforce by approximately 20% as a result of Covid-19’s impact on our business,” said a WME spokesperson. “We appreciate the contributions of our former colleagues, and out of respect for their privacy, we will not be commenting on the status of specific employees.

“While we are making these difficult decisions now to safeguard our business, we believe in the resilience of our team and our industry.”