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HuffPost's Layoffs Are a Succession Episode #irl

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HuffPost laid off 47 employees in the U.S. today, and closed HuffPost Canada altogether. It's a real life Succession episode. Only this time, there's a pandemic, and everyone at the fictional media company Vaulter is working from home. Although in the #irl COVID version we are all now living, Kendall Roy wouldn't need to endure the embarrassing task of announcing layoffs in person. At best, in the Succession COVID scenario, he might hold a Waystar Royco Zoom meeting, mute all the staff writers, and explain that he is systematically gutting the recently acquired Vaulter. In Season 2 Episode 2, with a measured monotone, Kendall informs the crowded room of employees that their health benefits are being terminated and that they have 15 minutes to gather their belongings before exiting the building. An enraged Vaulter employee spits in Kendall's face, a move that held a very different set of risks when the episode first aired in August 2019. Blindsided by the decision, Lawrence Yee, founder and CEO of Vaulter runs after Kendall for an explanation. "Sorry about the cloak and dagger," Kendall concedes, describing how this is a move to "find the profit centers, keep the union off our back." Lawrence rocks back and forth in anger, struggling to process that the company he built is being torn apart. He presses Kendall, demanding to know the real reason. "Because my dad told me to," Kendall says stoically. Lawrence parrots it back in mocking disbelief.

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