Disney Sued by Muslim Ex-Employee for Alleged Discrimination

The Hollywood Reporter
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Imane Boudlal, a former Disneyland employee, is suing Walt Disney Co. over alleged discrimination at the theme park.

The plaintiff is a former hotel restaurant hostess who says she was told to remove her hijab and, when she refused, to cover it up with a hat.

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She's being represented by the ACLU and by the law firm Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick, which put out a statement saying that she "faced increasing levels of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim harassment" during her two years on the job, "culminating with her dismissal in 2010 when she began wearing the hijab."

Boudial also released a statement on Monday: “Disneyland calls itself the happiest place on earth, but I faced harassment as soon as I started working there,” she said. “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.”

In response to the suit in federal court, Disney put out this statement:

"Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths. However, because we have not seen the lawsuit, we cannot comment specifically about this situation at this time."

Boudlal filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010.

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Last week, she received a “notice of right-to-sue."

Email: Eriq.Gardner@thr.com

Twitter: @EriqGardner