No one wants to imagine Bill Nye the Science Guy calmly, convivially, explaining that he’ll see all of you bastards in court. But according to a lawsuit filed this week, Nye is going to attempt to school Disney just like he schooled you in the wonderful rules that govern this amazing universe of ours. As Variety reports, the educational TV host has been attempting to audit Science Guy’s profits since 2008, the year he received a $585,123 check from Disney, only to be informed that he owed the company $496,111 due to an “accounting error.” According to the filing, “The disturbing size of the supposed ‘accounting error,’ coupled with the seeming indifference of both (Buena Vista Television) and (the Walt Disney Company), left Mr. Nye suspicious of the veracity of the accounting statements he had been receiving from BVT over the years.”
Nye and two producers originally developed the show with Seattle’s PBS affiliate KCTS; under their deal with Disney’s Buena Vista Television, the trio are supposed to split half of the show’s profits. After a long and allegedly frustrating quest to obtain the relevant financial documents, the auditor hired by Nye claims the Bill Nye Saves the World host is owed $9.3 million, asserting that Disney skewed the profits by “applying the wrong rates for distribution fees, improperly deducting foreign taxes, and mischaracterizing revenues.” Combined with the two other creators, the suit says Disney has shorted the Science Guy guys a grand total of $28 million. Buena Vista Television told Deadline in a statement Friday, “This lawsuit is a publicity ploy and we look forward to vigorously defending it.” Science, of course, still rules, but $28 million would be pretty excellent, too.