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A writer claimed he wasn't hired for being a straight, white man. One studio's response was brutal

straight white male writer claims privilege prevents jobs CBS network
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Shocking: the straight, white man is not automatically the best person for a job.

CBS is denying claims that it turned away a writer for being a straight, white man, instead saying that it simply wanted to hire the best person for the job.

Brian Beneker sued the studio in March, claiming he was not hired as a staff writer on the show SEAL Team "due to his race, sex, and heterosexuality." Beneker insisted that he did not get the job because he is not part of “the favored hiring groups; that is, nonwhite, LGBTQ, or female."

“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 lawsuit reads, via Deadline.

CBS has since responded to Beneker's lawsuit in a filing of its own, asking the courts to swiftly dismiss the case. It maintained that the company “has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to select the writers whose work shapes CBS’s artistic enterprise."

Though the studio did not divulge its hiring practices, it maintained that it hires the employees it believes to be best suited for its positions. To allow the lawsuit or punish the company “would prevent CBS from hiring the storytellers whom CBS believes are best suited to tell the stories CBS wants to produce and broadcast."

"Granting relief to Beneker would impair CBS’s ability to speak on its own term," the filing states. "The First Amendment bars Beneker’s claims in full. The First Amendment embodies a core principle of speaker’s autonomy that bars the government from dictating to expressive enterprises like CBS what to say and how to say it. It therefore displaces applications of statutes, including anti-discrimination laws, that would force an expressive enterprise to compromise its own message.”

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.