DEI Backlash: CBS Sued for Discrimination Against White Male ‘SEAL Team’ Writer, Suit Backed by America First Legal Foundation


An allegation of “blatant” discrimination against a white, heterosexual male freelance writer has been made against CBS and parent Paramount Global after it imposed stringent diversity rules for writers on its “SEAL Team” series, according to a federal lawsuit.

Brian Beneker, a script coordinator and freelance scriptwriter for CBS’ “SEAL Team,” was unlawfully denied a staff writer position due to his race, sex and sexual orientation, according to the complaint, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court of Central California, the New York Post reports.

Attorneys for plaintiff Beneker argue CBS’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts have “created a situation where heterosexual, white men need ‘extra’ qualifications (including military experience or previous writing credits) to be hired as staff writers [on SEAL Team] when compared to their nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female peers, who require no such ‘extra’ qualifications.”

Beneker is being represented by America First Legal, a conservative nonprofit founded by former Trump White House policy aide Stephen Miller.

The company posted on X late Thursday: “We just sued CBS in federal court for allegedly engaging in blatant anti-white discrimination in violation of federal law. America First Legal will fight to hold the entertainment giant accountable for its lawless and bigoted conduct.”

The Post report set out Beneker, who became the script coordinator in 2017 on the pilot episode of “SEAL Team,” a drama about the pressure on a group of Navy SEALs, soon was offered to write an episode script as a freelancer for the show’s second season.

To continue as a scriptwriter, Beneker was told, he had to quit his job as a coordinator, the suit said, noting that he was replaced by “a woman without any experience as a script coordinator” who “struggled to do the job” and “quit approximately two weeks into training.”

Beneker’s lawyers cited a widely reported mandate from CBS chief executive George Cheeks to “set a goal that all writers’ rooms on the network’s primetime series be staffed 40% [with] BIPOC [black, indigenous and people of color] in the 2021-2022 season.”

CBS and Paramount didn’t respond to requests for comment from the outlet.

The suit comes amid continued uproar over DEI policies across the entertainment industry, and alleges Beneker was passed over in favor of less qualified candidates who ticked the diversity boxes, an argument echoed elsewhere in the entertainment industry.

As Breitbart News reported in January, writer Andrew Sullivan stated on HBO’s “Real Time,” that progress on equality has advanced since the 1960s through freedom, free markets, and traditional liberal principles and shouldn’t completely mess it up with DEI programs and pushing “rigid quotas, attempting to make everything perfect, and, at the same time, toxifying our discourse, making people really angry.”

Sullivan said, “DEI is not about opening up opportunities. It is about systemically discriminating on the basis of race and sex.”

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Authored by Simon Kent via Breitbart March 4th 2024