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SeaWorld lays off Clyde & Seamore mimes, among others

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Dec 18, 2014 | Updated: Dec 19, 2014 - 3:16:05 PM
Three mimes from SeaWorld's Clyde & Seamore show have been let go. A company-wide layoff of 311 people was announced last week; the mimes were part of this layoff. Jim Hackworth had worked for SeaWorld for over 30 years and Lynn Frey and Tom Munson had been employed by the company for over 20 years. The three mimes were part of the pre-show to Clyde & Seamore, which is currently closed and will reopen as a new show this spring. SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs wouldn't confirm the news, but said, "We are still in the production process, but we do not currently have plans for mimes in the pre-show." Hackworth, Frey and Munson have not commented, but a phone call to one of their homes by the Orlando Sentinel reached someone who "acknowledged the layoffs." A SeaWorld Mime Fan Club Orlando Facebook page posted, "Our 3 mimes, Jim, Tom and Lynn have been laid off from SeaWorld. Something every revisiting guest looks forward to, but it's no more."

Last week, SeaWorld also laid off Nick Gollattscheck, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Florida spokesman. 108 employees were terminated from the SeaWorld San Diego.

An announcement was made this week that the "A'Lure, the Call of the Ocean" show will end in January. This show opened at the marine park in 2008 and is described by Local 6 news station as "an aquatic tapestry, combining athleticism, acrobats and electronic visuals." Cast members have been told that they would be losing their jobs, but that they will be paid for the next 40 days and perform a few more times.

SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison stepped down last week and will now become vice chairman and will join the board of the company's independent nonprofit conservation fund.

All these cuts are in an attempt to cut $50 million in expenses per year. SeaWorld's stocks have dropped 45 percent in the last year, due to low attendance and a negative perception of the parks after the release of the documentary Blackfish.