Sukhbir Channa, a 24-year-old who graduated from USF in spring 2007 with a degree in trumpet performance, is a practicing member of the Sikh religion who kept his long hair under a turban - or dastaar - and grew a beard in accordance with his beliefs. He claims that Disney fired him because he did not conform to the "Disney look," according to court documents. He is asking for $1 million in damages and a trial by jury.
The Disney look requires employees to keep their mustaches "neatly trimmed" and prohibits "beards, goatees and any extreme mustache style," according to Disney's Web site. All headwear must be issued by the costuming department.
In October 2005, Channa was hired as a seasonal trumpet player for parade and atmospheric positions. During the parades, he wore a toy soldier hat that covered his head. For the atmospheric position, in which a musician interacts with the audience, Disney suggested that Channa wear a red turban instead of the usual red beret. Channa agreed, but was removed from the atmospheric position by his manager before his first scheduled appearance because he lacked the Disney look. He was terminated in early 2006, when his seasonal contract ended.
In October 2006, Channa reapplied for the same position and was told he was very qualified but still lacked the Disney look. He was not rehired.