Bill Nye the Science Guy is Suing Disney for Unpaid Profits

Television personality and scientist Bill Nye the Science Guy is suing Disney and several of its subsidiaries claiming the conglomerate underpaid him by at least $9 million for his popular television series. In 2008, Buena Vista sent Mr. Nye a royalty check for $585,123.

Nye engaged an attorney and began what would become a drawn-out and largely fruitless effort to audit Disney's statements, according to the lawsuit.

Bill Nye is accustomed to explaining complicated concepts to children, but even he has struggled with the byzantine mess that is studio accounting. Eventually, Nye hired an external auditor to investigate. The show was distributed by Buena Vista Television. 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.

"Nevertheless, even in the absence of these essential documents, even without the ability to fully examine the accounting and related records of the Defendants ... the Auditor identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in underreported payments owed to Mr. Nye", Charles Rainey, Nye's lawyer, said in the complaint. 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.

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The 28-page filing first came to light in a report by the Deadline website, which said Disney has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The inquiry into Disney's accounts has been delayed for years as the company claimed that Bill Nye has not presented the proper paperwork to look into the company's accounts. The check was for $585k, but a couple months later he says Disney drastically changed it's story. and claimed he needed to return $496,000!

The suit also disputes the costs Disney claimed to have incurred-which grossed over $20 million-despite the fact that it was largely backed by federal grants from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and other organizations.

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