WWE is the lone live entertainment amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the COVID-19 crisis from impacting the company’s bottom line and staff. On Wednesday, April 15, WWE announced it would be reducing executive pay and furloughing staff to reduce costs.
The furlough is an effort to reduce costs without laying off employees permanently.
“The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature,” the WWE’s statement said, via the Hollywood Reporter.
WWE recently held WrestleMania without a crowd and was taping Raw and SmackDown shows. However, after professional sports and WWE were deemed “essential” by the Florida government, they returned to producing live shows for the fans.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including The Masters, NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS have temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 26,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.