In this video by Clownfish TV, Kneon and Geeky Sparkles discuss older animators either leaving or being pushed out of Western studios. In decades past, animators could keep their jobs into their 60’s and even 70’s. They would pass on their knowledge to younger generations, and preserve aspects of the art while still enabling progress. Nowadays, it’s rare to find animators over the age of 40 in studios. Either the companies refuse to pay their salaries, or they find better opportunities going into business for themselves.
Ageism in the workplace isn’t limited to animation. The video mentions the problem in tech companies, video game development, and advertising and marketing. Young people are made to work hard and long hours; when they reach age 40, they’re burned out. According to hrdive.com, ageism occurs in 3 ways: a bias toward hiring younger people; older workers being denied advancement over supposed lack of tech skills; and dismissal of older workers due to salary advancement.
Although Disney is the gold standard in animation, many Disney veterans have left to either join or start new studios. Inc.com reports that one’s 40’s and 50’s are actually the best age to start a new business. The article says that experience helps to develop better work and execution tactics.