Actor and conservative commentator Ben Stein is suing an ad agency and a Japanese computer company for breach of contract. Stein alleges he was under contract by the two to appear in commercials promoting the computer company but the defendants backed out of the deal when they learned of his views on global warming.
According to the lawsuit, Stein was to be paid $300,000 for fulfilling the agreement he had with Kyocera Mita America, Inc., and Seiter & Miller Advertising.
From The Hollywood Reporter:
[...] 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)."