‘Severance’ prodco Fifth Season cuts 12% of staff & blames ‘impact’ of US strikes


Severance and Omnivore producer Fifth Season is cutting around 12% of its workforce, or 30 jobs, and is blaming the downsizing on the effects of the US writers and actors strikes.

The CJ ENM-owned company informed its team yesterday that the roles were being cut because of the impact of the ongoing dispute between the The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and actors untion SAG-AFTRA.


Executive and administrative roles are affected, with the cuts coming six months after Fifth Season laid off eight staff including Shelby White, director of TV creative, and Danielle Gerber, VP of physical production.

Those exits amounted to around 2% of company staff at the CJ ENM-owned prodco, which rebranded from Endeavour Content last year.

Aside from Apple TV+ duo Severance and Omnivore, Fifth Season has also been behind hit BBC drama Normal People and director Ramin Bahrani’s feature documentary 2nd Chance.

The company’s SVP of documentaries Kevin Iwashina also stepped down in April, after acknowledging that he had caused “discomfort” to others.

A Fifth Season spokesperson confirmed the latest cuts, adding: “Today we made the difficult decision to reduce Fifth Season’s headcount due to the impact on our business operations as a result of the ongoing dispute between the AMPTP and WGA & SAG-AFTRA.

“This resulted in the loss of 30 positions across executive and administrative roles, approximately 12% of our workforce. Our team is extraordinary and the reduction of staff by even one individual, let alone many, is heartbreaking.

“We are hopeful the growing financial, creative, and emotional toll of these strikes can be curtailed with a swift resolution and that every person in our industry can return to the business we are all passionate about: storytelling. We will emerge from this period well-positioned and ready to return to producing great films and television series.”

Earlier this week, the WGA hit back at the latest proposals from the AMPTP, accusing the streamer and studio union of attempting “not to bargain, but to jam us” as the two sides try to thrash out a deal.

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