Ben Stein Sues Claiming Global Warming Beliefs Cost Him $300,000 Acting Job

“He also told [his agent] to inform defendants that as a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather.”

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Ben Stein wants to win some money…in litigation.

Stein, the prolific actor, author, spokesperson, pundit and one-time star of Comedy Central’s game show Win Ben Stein’s Money, has sued a Japanese company and its New York ad agency for $300,000 for allegedly backing out of a deal to hire him to act in commercials when they found out about his beliefs on global warming.

Stein filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday against Kyocera Mita America, Inc., Seiter & Miller Advertising and their principals.

Stein, a well-known conservative commentator who became famous as the economics professor in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, has appeared in popular commercials for Clear Eyes eye drops and Comcast. He claims that in 2011, Kyocera and Seiter & Miller approached his agent at Innovative Artists about him appearing in commercials for a line of computer printers. A deal was allegedly worked out to pay him $300,000 for the commercials and to appear at a company event. “The only points still under discussion–but not in dispute–were what kind of tea and other snacks Ben Stein would have on the set,” the complaint states. “There were no outstanding deal points.”

But Stein alleges that in Feb. 2011 his agent was called by Seiter employee Grace Jao and told that “questions had been raised by defendant Kyocera about whether Ben Stein’s views on global warming and on the environment were sufficiently conventional and politically correct for Kyocera,” according to the complaint.

Stein alleges he informed the ad agency and Kyocera that he was deeply concerned about the environment but he was not certain that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. “He also told [his agent] to inform defendants that as a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather,” the complaint states.

Days later, Kyocera allegedly withdrew its offer and hired an economics professor at the University of Maryland to appear in the commercials and, “in an astonishingly brazen misappropriation of Ben Stein’s persona, dressed him up as Stein often appeared in commercials (bow tie, glasses, sports jacket).”

So Stein is suing, claiming breach of contract, and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, among other causes of action.

We’ve reached out to Seiter & Miller for comment.

One thought on “Ben Stein Sues Claiming Global Warming Beliefs Cost Him $300,000 Acting Job”

  1. I have a form letter that I send to various companies when I run across things like this. Here’s what I just sent via their web form inquiry page ( https://www3.kyocera.co.jp/form/app/input?region=gl&frmid=others ):

    “I’ve just been alerted to Ben Stein’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Kyocera, where he claims Kyocera backed out of a deal to have him advertise Kyocera products because of his beliefs about the causes of global warming.

    In regard to that, I ask the following specific questions:

    What is Kyocera’s official position regarding “Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the NONgovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)” and the related 2011 Interim Report? These two reports, (seen here: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2009/2009report.html and here http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/2011report.html ) are a detailed, authoritative rebuttal of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings, which the Obama Administration and many European and Asian governments rely on for their regulatory proposals.

    What is Kyocera’s official position regarding allegations that the IPCC reports fall short of US EPA guidelines requiring highly influential scientific assessments to meet a variety of standards for transparency, data availability and due diligence?

    Has Kyocera done its own due diligence assessments of IPCC reports to assure its customers and viewers of its web site that information conveyed by Kyocera on the issue of global warming is above reproach? If those assessments have been done for Kyocera, can Kyocera provide specific references in IPCC reports where theories of natural causes for the current global warming have been disproved, or more simply, show that the IPCC had any requirement to also evaluate potential natural causes?

    If Kyocera takes the position that there is a scientific consensus in favor of the idea of human-caused global warming, is Kyocera prepared to show how “consensus” is the new operating standard of scientific inquiry across all fields of study?

    If Kyocera’s position is that global warming skeptic scientists operate under guidance from industries opposing CO2 regulation, is Kyocera prepared to provide specific proof of improper payments to those scientists, and specific proof of faults in the scientists’ reports that are obvious indications of industry-guided science errors?

    Is Kyocera able to demonstrate how energy sustainability and stewardship of the environment are synonymous with CO2 regulation, considering the questions above?”

    I sent an identical one with the corporate name swapped out to Coca-Cola, when the blow-up over their all-white polar bear cans came out. Not a word of reply yet……

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