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Luke v. Dough Boy Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 7, 2020

TASHIANA LUKE, Plaintiff,
v.
DOUGH BOY INC., LANGSTON FAIZON SANTISIMA; Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [23]

          OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, Tashiana Luke (“Luke”), resident of Philadelphia, brings this action against Faizon Love (“Love”), resident of California, for employment discrimination and sexual harassment. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.) Luke asserts that throughout her employment as his personal assistant, Love made sexually harassing comments culminating in a text message which included a sexually explicit video. (See Compl.)

         Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”). (Mot., ECF No. 23.) For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendants' Motion.[1]

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Employment and General Conduct

         Assembly Robot, Inc. (“Assembly”) is a California corporation in the business of providing entertainment services. (Def.s' Statement of Uncontroverted Facts (“DSUF”) ¶ 1, ECF No. 24.) Love is an actor and comedian and Assembly's sole shareholder, director and officer. (DSUF ¶¶ 2-3.) Love employed Luke as his personal assistant. (DSUF ¶ 14.)

         Luke and Love first met in October 2015 when Luke worked as a production assistant on the set of Real Husbands of Hollywood (“RHOH”), a television show on which Love was a cast member. (DSUF ¶ 8.) Luke's job duties on RHOH included, among other things, assisting cast members. (DSUF ¶ 9.) While on the set of RHOH, Luke observed nudity and understood she might see nudity on the set as a production assistant. (DSUF ¶¶ 12-13.) While on the set of RHOH, Love sent pictures of his genitals to at least three individuals, believing it to be “the culture.” (Pl.'s Statement of Uncontroverted Facts (“PSUF”) ¶¶ 74-77, ECF No. 26-1.)

         After RHOH wrapped up, Love asked Luke if she would like to be his personal assistant. (DSUF ¶ 14.) She accepted the position, knowing that Luke may use profanity or reference sexual material during her employment. (DSUF ¶¶ 15, 16.)

         She began her employment on June 9, 2016. (DSUF ¶17.) As Love's assistant, Luke scheduled meetings and bookings for Love, made travel accommodations for Love, and set up for Love's guest appearances. (DSUF ¶ 18.)

         Sometime between June 9, 2016 and June 25, 2016, Love made the following comments to Luke: “you know you need your tuition paid” and “your ass looks good in those jeans” (DSUF ¶¶ 34, 40; PSUF ¶ 70.) Luke did not complain to anyone she knew to be an employee, supervisor or manager of Love about these comments. (DSUF ¶ 47.)

         B. Writing the Parody

         Shortly after starting her position, Love approached Luke about writing and casting a parody of a pornographic film. (DSUF ¶ 19.) Neither party clarified what scenes would be included in the parody. (DSUF ¶¶ 21, 22.) Since Luke aimed to write romantic comedies and reality television, she agreed to write the parody with the knowledge that the scene would involve Love having parody sex. (DSUF ¶¶ 20, 23- 25.)

         Luke understood that as a writer she would be expected to have input regarding test scenes, which involve cast acting out the scenes. (DSUF ¶¶ 27-28.) She understood it would be important for her as a writer to review test scenes as they contribute to her writing. (DSUF ¶ 29.) Furthermore, she was aware that Love could cast or ...


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