ACLU Probes Six Flags Hairstyle Ban
Saturday, June 17, 2006 12:59 PM EDT
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is investigating complaints from more than a dozen black employees at a Six Flags theme park who were told their hairstyles were inappropriate.
Jonathan DeLeon, 17, was hired at Six Flags America in Largo, Md., in March to wear the costumes of Sylvester and Daffy Duck. A few weeks later, he said he was told to cut his braids, which were at least 3 feet long.
Though his mother cut more than 2 feet of his hair, park officials were dissatisfied, he said.
"They told me I had to cut them even shorter or go home," DeLeon told The Washington Post.
"They said they wanted an all-American thing. That's what they said to all the black people. I had already cut it a lot, so I just left."
The 2006 Six Flags America handbook states that employees are not allowed to have "any hairstyle that detracts or takes away from Six Flags theming."
Terry Prather, the park's general manager, said that the policy is not discriminatory and that exceptions are made for employees with religious and medical reasons for not cutting their hair.
Some employees said they tried to adjust by buying wigs to cover their hair or by paying to have their hair braided into cornrows, but they too were told that the hairstyles were inappropriate.
I can say that it isn't just Six Flags and it isn't just aimed at African Americans. When I worked at Disney World back in the 80's, it was very strict there too regarding hairstyles, make-up and jewlery. Same over at Universal Studios. I remember one guy who had beautiful, long, black hair. They wouldn't let him wear a pony-tail, so he bought a short wig. That wasn't good enough, so he had to cut his hair.
I think it is ridiculous myself. I don't think there is such a thing as an all-American look any more. As long as it is well-groomed, corporations shouldn't have a beef with long hair. Get with the 2000's y'all and stop with the dress-codes. I mean, come on...that guy in the story was hired to wear a Daffy Duck costume. How in the hell would any of the guests in the park have seen his hair???
What do y'all think?