A UX designer recently fired from Disney took to TikTok to express her shock at how impersonal the exit interview process was.
The former employee, Christine Seo (@xtineseo), posted the video on May 25. It has accrued one million views and over 88,000 likes as of this writing.
@xtineseo I’m having mental breakdowns every 26 minutes someone lmk if this is normal 😭 #layoffs #techlayoffs #uxdesigner #disneylayoffs #productdesigner #productdesign #womenintech #layoffs2023 #gettinglaidoff #workingintech #disney #unemploymentlife #techtok #funemployment #careertok ♬ original sound – Christine Seo
Seo begins her video crying into the camera with a text overlay that reads, “I got laid off from Disney,” before the clip quickly transitions to her sitting composed in front of the lens. “So, it happened; I got laid off,” she says. “I just got a meeting invite with my manager and HR.”
She explains that she researched what people usually say during exit interviews, so she felt “pretty prepared,” but she still found the interaction strange.
“It was kind of weird to see my manager being super professional and really not showing any emotions,” she says. “It honestly feels like a breakup that’s one-sided.”
The TikToker goes on to say that her benefits don’t expire until August and her severance pay will kick in around the same time. She also adds that she’s unaware of who else at Disney has been laid off and hasn’t spoken to any of her co-workers or family about losing her job.
“I honestly don’t know who got laid off or like which teams got laid off; I think it’s still happening this week,” she says. “When this happened, I just really didn’t know who I should call [or] if I should message my co-worker. I literally couldn’t think of anyone to run to. I didn’t tell my parents yet. [I’ll] probably tell them by the time this is uploaded.”
Seo then reveals she’s never been fired before.
“This is my first job,” she says. “Like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but I definitely should have worked on my portfolio, but I didn’t.
The video then cuts to another clip of Seo crying before it ends. Seo adds in the caption, “I’m having mental breakdowns every 26 minutes someone lmk if this is normal.”
According to AP News, Disney has had several rounds of layoffs across its various divisional properties: “The job eliminations are taking place across various business segments, including entertainment, ESPN, parks, experiences and products. The cuts are also occurring in various locations, including Burbank, California, New York and Connecticut. The company previously said that it doesn’t expect the job cuts to impact hourly frontline operations roles at its parks and resorts.”
The outlet also reports that Disney plans to reach a target of 7,000 terminations, and Seo appears to be one such casualty in The Mouse’s pursuit of that goal.
In the comments section of Seo’s video, many viewers offered sympathy, encouragement, and advice for the TikToker.
“I was also part of the Disney layoffs :( Stay strong!” one viewer wrote.
“Being laid off is so hard,” another said. “File for unemployment asap. Then take some time to grieve. You are not alone.”
Other viewers said there was hope that Seo could return to the company.
“Disney layoffs have been a big rumor in the entertainment field,” one TikToker said. “Apply for unemployment and stay friendly with former co-workers. When things get better they may rehire.”
“Was laid off back in 2020 from the company,” another shared. “You always have a chance of coming back even in a different role. Another job will come to you.”
The Daily Dot contacted Disney and Seo via email for further comment.