Bill Nye the Science Guy is suing the Walt Disney Company for $37 million, claiming he was not given his fair share of the profits from his long-running ’90s TV show.
In a lawsuit filed this week, spotted by Deadline, Nye is alleging that the defendants—which include Disney, ABC Television, Buena Vista Television (BVT) and Touchstone Television Productions—failed to provide him with his owed share of revenue from the sale, distribution and other exploitation of his children’s television program.
As the report points out, Nye alleges that he is owed about $9.35 million due to the defendants’ breach of fiduciary duties and that he is owed another $28 million due to the defendants “breaching their fiduciary duties, enriching themselves, at the expense of the plaintiff and the BNSG owners, obtaining ill-gotten profits…”
In a section of the lawsuit titled “The ‘Accounting Error’ of 2008,” Nye alleges that BVT sent him a participation payment check for $585,123, but a few months later the company cited an error in its previous calculation and told Nye that he owed BVT $496,111.
“The disturbing size of the supposed ‘accounting error,’ coupled with the seeming indifference of both BVT and WDC, left Mr. Nye suspicious of the veracity of the accounting statements he had been receiving from BVT over the years,” the lawsuit reads.
Nye goes onto to say in the complaint that he and his legal team attempted an audit to gain access to Disney’s records but that Disney forestalled the proceeding and then did not engage in good faith once the audit commenced in 2016.
Nye, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, began developing the ‘Science Guy’ character through stage, radio and TV appearances around Seattle. In 1992, he began developing his series for PBS, before signing a distribution deal with BVT in 1993.
Earlier this year, Nye debuted a new series on Netflix titled “Bill Nye Saves the World.”