CBS Sued By ‘SEAL Team’ Writer Who Claims ‘Heterosexual, White Men Need Extra Qualifications’

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CBS Studios and its parent company, Paramount, are being sued by an employee who claims he was discriminated against for being a heterosexual white male. 

Brian Beneker, a script coordinator for the drama series “SEAL Team,” filed a lawsuit in California federal court Wednesday, per The Hollywood Reporter

The studio employee alleged that he was repeatedly denied a staff writer job due to the company’s “illegal policy of race and sex balancing,” which promoted hiring “less qualified applicants who were members of more preferred groups.” Beneker specifically stated in the document that women, minorities, and LGTBQ individuals were given preferential consideration for open positions.

The CBS employee is seeking $500,000 in damages and is requesting a court order to become a full-time producer on the series to help combat future discriminatory practices, the THR report noted.

Beneker is represented by the America First Legal Foundation. The conservative legal group was founded by Stephen Miller, a White House policy adviser under the Trump administration. This is the first major lawsuit that America First is representing against an entertainment industry company.

The lawsuit states that Beneker worked as a script coordinator for “SEAL Team” since 2017 and has written several episodes. He alleges that he was passed over for staff writer positions on multiple occasions while members of minority groups were chosen despite not being as qualified for the roles, in his estimation.

Beneker claims he asked a showrunner in 2019 why one person was chosen instead of him for an open position. He claims that person said it was because he “did not check any diversity boxes.” Despite being told he’d be the next pick, Beneker said CBS hired six more women as writers. 

Beneker said this happened on more than one occasion.

“During Season 6, (in approximately May of 2022), two female writer’s assistants, without any writing credits, were hired as staff writers,” the lawsuit says. “The first of these two hires was black. The second identified as lesbian.”

Beneker said these initiatives have “created a situation where heterosexual, white men need ‘extra’ qualifications (including military experience or previous writing credits) to be hired as staff writers when compared to their nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female peers.”


The employee blamed the hiring practice on publicly stated diversity quotas which CBS sought to meet. CEO of CBS Entertainment Group George Cheeks reportedly said in 2022 that he set a goal of all writers’ rooms being staffed by at least 40% minority group members. He further stated that 17 out of 21 shows met those goals for the 2021-2022 season.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of the Supreme Court decision last June, which found that Harvard University and the University of North Carolina could not use race-based criteria for admissions.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  CBS Sued By ‘SEAL Team’ Writer Who Claims ‘Heterosexual, White Men Need Extra Qualifications’