Air Hollywood, an aviation studio and prop house, has been hit with a graphic sexual harassment suit, alleging that the owner makes incessant advances on female employees and coerces them to participate in porn shoots.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in L.A. Superior Court, accuses studio owner Talaat Captan of calling his employees “whores,” making inappropriate comments on their weight, and trying to hug and kiss them.
Air Hollywood is headquartered in Los Angeles neighborhood Pacoima, and provides airplane and airport terminal sets for use in feature films and TV shows. Each of the major studios — as well as Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and others — have been clients of the facility. Productions that have shot there include “Modern Family,” “Bridesmaids,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” according to the suit.
The suit describes the workplace as “a seething cesspool of sexual harassment,” and alleges that Captan “views his female employees and customers as sex objects who are, or should be, available on demand to satisfy his sexual needs and desires.”
Captan was traveling on Thursday and was not available for comment.
The plaintiff filed suit anonymously, as Jane Doe, and several other anonymous former employees are quoted in the complaint. Doe started work there in March 2015, and was eventually promoted to manager of the prop house.
Doe alleges that Captan made constant sexual remarks in her presence, touched her waist and arms while talking to her, kissed her on the forehead without her consent, called her “beautiful,” and encouraged her to wear form-fitting clothes. He also made derogatory remarks about her and other women, she alleges, including calling her “fat” and “crazy,” and referring to other women as “sluts,” “whores,” and “bitches.”
“I believe he harbored a real hatred towards his female employees specifically and women in general,” one former employee said, according to the suit.
Air Hollywood runs a weekly show called the “Pan Am Experience,” which is designed to replicate the experience of flying on the airline in the 1970s, with an “in-flight” meal and fashion show. The suit alleges that Captan made it clear that he wanted to sleep with the women who worked on the show.
He also encouraged female employees to earn extra money by participating in “after hours” pornography shoots, according to the suit.
The suit also alleges a variety of financial improprieties, including failing to pay wages and commissions, overcharging clients, and paying women less than comparable male employees.