Ben Stein's Global Warming Lawsuit Gets Cold Shoulder From Judge

Tim Kenneally
The Wrap
Ben Stein's Global Warming Lawsuit Gets Cold Shoulder From Judge

It's starting to look like Ben Stein's lawsuit over his global-warming beliefs might just be a lot of hot air.

The "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" actor suffered a major setback in his lawsuit against Kyocera Document Solutions America and Seiter & Miller Advertising last week, after a judge granted all but one of Kyocera's requests in its motion to strike Stein's suit.

Also read: Ben Stein Sues: Ad Agency Replaced Me Over Global-Warming Position

Stein, a former Nixon speechwriter whose conservative political views are a matter of public record, filed suit in January, claiming that Kyocera dashed plans for the actor to serve as its spokesperson because of his stance on global warming.

Stein's suit claimed that, after weeks of negotiation, the ad agency said there was concern over whether Stein's "views on global warming and on the environment were sufficiently conventional and politically correct for Kyocera."

Stein replied that he was uncertain about whether global warming is man-made.

"He also told [his agent Marcia] Hurwitz to inform defendants that, as a matter of religious belief, he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather," the suit claims.

Not long after, Kyocera and Seiter & Miller decided not to proceed with Stein, and Stein sued, claiming breach of contract, wrongful discharge and infliction of emotional distress.

However, Judge Elizabeth Allen White has granted nearly all of Kyocera's motion to strike Stein's complaint, leaving only one point to be argued by the actor.

Among other things, Stein claimed that his case arose from "freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and political freedom" issues. However, the judge ruled that business entities also have First Amendment rights.

A representative for Stein has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Judge White also found that there was insufficient evidence that Stein had conclusively entered into an agreement with Kyocera, therefore rendering his breach of contract claim moot.

Stein can still sue on right-of -publicity grounds. In his suit, the actor says that the company hired a University of Maryland economics professor to stand in as a Ben Stein look-alike after withdrawing its offer to him.

"In an astonishingly brazen misappropriation of [Stein's] persona, [they] dressed him up as Stein often appeared in commercials (bow tie, glasses, sports jacket)," his suit reads.

Stein probably wishes he could hire the same guy right about now, to endure the legal defeat for him.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Photo: Getty Images

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