‘SEAL Team’ Staffer Claims He Was Denied Scribe Gig Over Being White, Straight Male; Suit Backed By Trump Aide Stephen Miller’s MAGA Legal Foundation

The DEI wars raging in Red State America have made their long-expected arrival in Hollywood. With support from one of Donald Trump’s closest aides, a SEAL Team staffer has filed a discrimination lawsuit against CBS and Paramount Global claiming he was denied a writing position on the show because of being a straight white guy.

‘Defendants failed to hire or promote Mr. Beneker due to his race, sex, and heterosexuality,” the complaint from longtime SEAL Team script coordinator and freelance scribe Brian Beneker reads. Beneker says in the complaint seeking a jury trial that he has suffered by not being part of “the favored hiring groups; that is, they were nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female,” and the “illegal policy” of increasingly attacked diversity, equity and inclusion measures.

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Click to read Beneker’s discrimination lawsuit, which was filed last week in U.S. District Court in California.

In fact, Beneker claims in 2019 he directly asked current SEAL Team showrunner Spencer Hudnut why a man had been hired as a staff writer by previous showrunner John Glenn after Glenn had told him “there were already too many staff writers and there was no room for CBS to hire” him.

“Hudnut indicated it was because he was black,” the complaint asserts, with no additional evidence submitted.

“This balancing policy has 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, who require no such ‘extra’ qualifications,” the filing adds, while taking swipes at writers assistants and others who had been promoted.

While continuing his job as script coordinator, Beneker penned three episodes of the David Boreanaz-led series in 2019. He has another one supposedly set to air as the eighth episode of the series’ upcoming seventh and final season. In production, that Season 7 script was co-written by SEAL Team co-EP Dana Greenblatt, a woman.

In that context, the February 29-filed suit from Beneker seeks $500,000 in alleged lost wages, and “an injunction requiring Defendants to offer Plaintiff a full-time job as a producer.”

Backed by former Trump White House advisor Stephen Miller’s nonprofit America First Legal Foundation, Beneker also desires the federal court issue a declaratory judgment that CBS and Paramount Global’s “de facto hiring policy violates … the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Plus, he wants a “permanent injunction barring the Defendants from violating applicable nondiscrimination laws.”

Now let’s put some realpolitick on the table.

The money is one thing, as are the other relief claims in Beneker’s grievance-filled battle against Paramount Global’s so-called “balancing policy.” However, he will almost certainly find himself coming up short in securing a staff writer slot on SEAL Team: The series, now deep in production, is ending in the next year after its upcoming seventh season on Paramount+. That means the show will be done and dusted long before Beneker’s case goes to trial, let alone gets a verdict.

But Beneker and his America First Legal Foundation lawyers know that, and that’s not the real goal in what is clearly another culture war shot across Tinseltown’s bow in an election year. More than likely the real goal is scoring points against the source of some of the Democrats’ biggest donations, and juicing up the MAGA base.

Slammed in the 12-page complaint for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with their corporate inclusion and representation polices, CBS and Paramount Global declined to comment on Beneker’s action today. If or when they do, this post will be updated.

Deadline has also reached out to Hudnut’s agency CAA for a statement on the remarks and implications attributed to the industry vet in Brenker’s suit. If or when we hear back from them, we will also update this post.

Beneker has worked on SEAL Team since 2017 and before that was a script coordinator on Sons of Anarchy, Missing and other shows.

Telling of where this is coming from and going, Beneker is represented by San Diego firm JW Howard Attorneys and the America First Legal Foundation.

Ever since the Supreme Court knocked down affirmative action policies in colleges and universities admissions last year, AFLF has been filing suits against the likes of Starbucks, Morgan Stanley and other companies in an attempt to end inclusion practices.

Getting entertainment industry specific, the AFLF sued Facebook owners Meta, the Association of Independent Producers and ad agency BBDO on behalf of James Harker. The electrician, a white male, claims he was denied work and promotions because of the ACIP’s Double the Line policy, which is intended to promote Black, Indigenous and People of Color workers to leadership jobs.

The latter case is ongoing.

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