Disney sued for discrimination by former employee over Muslim hijab
A Muslim woman filed a federal suit against the Walt Disney Company on Monday on the grounds of religious discrimination and harassment. Imane Boudlal, a naturalized US citizen born in Morocco, says that while working at Disney's California theme park she endured harassment from supervisors and colleagues and faced discrimination for wearing a hijab before leaving the company in 2010.
Boudlal asked her supervisors for permission to wear her hijab when she worked at the Storyteller's Cafe. Her request was denied and she was told that wearing the hijab would "negatively affect patrons' experiences at the Storytellers Cafe."
The 28-year-old also claims coworkers and supervisors accosted her with anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs, calling her "terrorist", "camel" and "Kunta Kinte," in reference to the slave from Alex Haley's famous book Roots. Boudlal said colleagues also told her Arabs are terrorists, that she spoke a terrorist language and was trained to make bombs.
"Disneyland calls itself the happiest place on earth, but I faced harassment as soon as I started working there," Boudlal said in a statement. "It only got worse when I decided to wear a hijab. My journey towards wearing it couldn't have been more American; it began at my naturalization ceremony I realized that I had the freedom to be who I want and freely practice my religion. Neither Disney nor anyone else can take that from me." (...)