All is not well in Disneyland – the place that is supposed to be the “happiest on earth”. Sukbir Channa, a 24 year old Sikh of Indian origin, has filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging that Disney refused to renew his employment because of his turban and facial hair, both of which are mandated by his religion ( tip: Chickpea via email) (link)
Mickey hates turbans?
img: via Blog Smith Media
The details of the suit indicate that Channa – an accomplished trumpet player- was told that he did not have the “Disney look” had. Bizarrely, Channa who had worked in Disney in 2006 actually had participated in the parade ( for the uninitiated- this is a twice daily feature and most anticipated by all the kiddies and their parents!). At the parade, his turban was hidden by the large soldier hat that he wore. Initially,Disney requested Channa to wear a red turban at work – in keeping with the general dress code guidelines for park employees. Fair enough. In 2006,however, Channa when reapplying for seasonal work was told that he did not meet the requirements for the “Disney look” ( What look is that? Anthropomorphic?)
If the suit is found to have merit, Disney certainly has some explaining to do. For a global corporation that has no qualms about marketing characters to impressionable kids around the world, the idea that there is a certain “look” that is acceptable is ridiculous! For the approximately two of our US based readers who have *NOT* visited Disneyland theme parks – on any day , the parks are teeming with people of all ages, shapes, sizes, nationalities.There is no logic that dictates that all Disney employees need to look a certain way. In fact, Disney prides itself on having employees from all over the world and from what I remember, the park employees wear badges with their names and country of origin displayed!
The actions of Disney may have been the product of a misguided or xenophobic hiring manager. Watch this space as we learn more and bring it to you!