So, Bill Nye Is Suing Disney

So, Bill Nye Is Suing Disney

In 2008, Buena Vista sent Mr. Nye a royalty check for $585,123.

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He filed his lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Eventually, Nye hired an external auditor to investigate. He also says Disney misapplied the formulas laid out in its contract to determine how big a share Nye, KCTS and other partners should have received. Finally, Nye's auditor gained access to the accounts where he discovered that Bill Nye was allegedly scammed by Disney and was owed over $9 million from the company. His skepticism started in 2008: Buena Vista sent him a profit share of $585,123 for the preceding year, but just a few months later sent him another correspondence claiming it was an "accounting error", and that Nye then owed the company nearly half a million dollars back. Courthouse News has the full details, but basically, Nye and his co-defendants are accusing Disney, et al, of taking steps to "skew the profits calculation in its favor", per Variety, including improperly deducting foreign taxes and in some cases falsifying information entirely. The lawsuit claims Nye, who is owed 16.5 per cent of the series' profits, flagged his concerns after the Disney-owned Buena Vista Television demanded he repay a large portion of his 2007 earnings from the show, citing an "accounting error". Although that audit was completed past year, Nye says Disney failed to produce documents related to deals with Netflix, Apple, and others.

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It also said the complaint accused the companies of misclassifying revenues and expenses. Upon further analysis, the auditor has increased that figure to no less than $9.3 million. "The disturbing size of the supposed 'accounting error, ' coupled with the seeming indifference of both [Buena Vista] and [Walt Disney Company], left Nye suspicious of the veracity of the accounting statements he had been receiving from BVT over the years", the suit says. Shortly after, according to the lawsuit, Buena Vista told Mr. Nye that this check was a miscalculation and that he actually owed the studio $496,111.

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Disney and the other defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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