Disney's Maker Studios has laid off around 80 people, and has plans to downsize its Youtube partner program from more than 60,000 creators to focus on just 300. This comes at a bad time for the company, which was recently rocked when an anti-semitism scandal involved their best-known Youtube partner Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, led to him being dropped by the multi-channel network.
This news has been reported by the Wall Street Journal and they claim their report comes from a source close to the company. This source also claims that the wheels were in motion on the plan before the PewDiePie scandal, however it seems that it was at least partly influenced by this scandal.
The source close to the company claims that, once they've culled their roster of YouTube creators, Maker will be looking for two golden qualtiies. Firstly, they'll need their own established audience and a large following. Secondly, their material will need to be family friendly and match up with the rest of Disney's corporate culture. This second part feels like a direct reference to the recent scandal with PewDiePie which is still exploding around them.
Disney acquired Maker Studios in 2014 in a deal worth $675 million.