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“The Company Men” Examines Layoffs from both Sides of the Table

Last week I got the chance to speak with John Wells, writer and director of “The Company Men” for our sister site, TheWorkBuzz.com. The film, which dissects the effects of layoffs on those who experience them, stars Academy Award winners Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, and hits theaters today.

Though “The Company Men” takes the most in-depth look at the psychological and existential effects that job loss has on workers, it also touches on the legal, ethical and emotional struggles experienced by the executives and human resources staff who make the decisions on “who stays and who goes.” An aspect of the film Wells decided to include after speaking with human resources executives (and one that can be seen in the below clip).

“I sort of feel like my first version of [the script was] more like a creed against corporate America and that that wasn’t very fair and probably not balanced, so I went back and interviewed a lot of CEOs and human resources executives, and people were very willing to talk to me,” Wells told TheWorkBuzz. “What I did discover when I talked to companies was that while the individual market realities [of each] company would be different, the structures were very similar and the things they were going through were very similar; how they were having to address [downsizing] no matter why they were having to do it. There were tremendous similarities between corporations and the way they dealt with this stuff.”

To read the full interview on TheWorkBuzz, click here.

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