Everyone will be blogging about this today, but there’s no way we’re going to be left out. In the Japanese edition of the Wall Street Journal we read Ben Stein Sues Kyocera Over Ad Campaign Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
In his time, Ben Stein has worked as an economist, written speeches for Richard Nixon, and appeared in Seinfeld. Now the versatile 67-year-old actor is taking on a new role: He’s suing the U.S. arm of Japan’s Kyocera Corp. after the electronics company replaced him as its next pitchman for computer printers, alleging he was dumped over his views on global warming.
This “viewpoint discrimination” stuff is bigger threat to the world than global warming. It’ll be the end of us all if we’re not careful. But let’s stay with the Journal:
In the complaint, Mr. Stein alleges all that was left to sort out was the kind of tea and snacks to serve during the commercial shoot when in February 2011, two months after the company first approached him, printer making unit Kyocera Mita questioned “whether Ben Stein’s views on global warming and on the environment were sufficiently conventional and politically correct for Kyocera.”
Here’s a link to the complaint. The Journal continues:
According to the complaint, Mr. Stein responded to a question from the company seeking to ascertain his views on global warming that while he was concerned about the environment, “he was by no means certain that global warming was man-made, a position held by many scientists and political conservatives.”
In addition, he asked his agent to tell Kyocera that “as a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather.”
We knew Stein was a flaming creationist, but until now we didn’t know about this. The Journal continues:
Kyocera withdrew its offer about a week later, according to the complaint. The company explained to his agent it was because of “Ben’s official positions on various policy issues, but also statements widely attributed to him that appear on the web of which we have only lately become aware.”
Hey — if “Kyocera withdrew its offer,” that indicates there never was a contract. This is a strange lawsuit. Well, actually it’s not. Minorities can sue if a company won’t deal with them, so maybe there’s something to it. Here’s one more excerpt:
Mr. Stein was to appear as an economist in commercials trumpeting the value of Kyocera and Kyocera Mita computers, the complaint says. He would also speak at a company event. According to the complaint, the sides agreed to a $300,000 employment contract, the amount Mr. Stein is seeking in damages, as well as additional costs like attorney fees.
Okay, the case will work its way through the court — until the parties come to their senses and settle it. Meanwhile, check out what popped up last night at the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
They’ve written Was Ben Stein “Expelled” by Kyocera and Ad Agency for His Views on Intelligent Design? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
[T]he company’s message to him indicated that he was dropped for various unnamed policy positions they found him identified with on the Internet. Stein is at least as well known for his controversial opinions on evolution and intelligent design as he is for anything he’s said about the climate.
Then, always seeking to get themselves into the act, the Discoveroids quote this portion of Stein’s complaint:
Ben Stein is especially well known in recent years for his advocacy of free speech and free inquiry on complex public issues such as environmentalism and evolution. He has hosted a documentary on the subject and written about it frequently over the last several years.
Yes, and that “documentary” is the notorious creationist clunker, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. The Discoveroid post is brief, and it ends with this:
A sad irony, but not unexpected, if an economist and showman like Stein has now suffered a similar fate [as the creation scientists in Expelled].
There’s yet another fate Stein may suffer. Now that the word is getting around that Stein sues if he doesn’t get hired, we suspect that no one in the advertising industry will even talk to the guy any more. It’s too dangerous.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.