Posted at 8:38 PM ET February 27, 2019 |
The beloved drama is over and gave a happy ending to Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel), as well as to the rest of the team.
LOS ANGELES – A referee ordered 21st Century Fox to pay $ 179 million in a profit dispute with stars of the long-running "Bones" TV show, claiming Fox executives were involved in "a fraud and intentional malevolence ".
The decision was made earlier this month and was revealed on Wednesday in a motion by plaintiffs asking Fox to pay, a decision Fox would challenge.
Arbitrator Peter Licthman, a retired Los Angeles Superior Court justice, reprimanded Fox executives for their crime of deception and deception. His decision includes $ 128 million in punitive damages, calling the sum "reasonable and necessary to punish Fox from future unlawful conduct".
The overall figure is among the largest ever recorded for a TV show dispute and is a case that illuminates the finances of Hollywood conglomerates.
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz left their "Bones" characters, Brennan and Booth, at the end of the series in 2017. But the series remains popular in syndication. (Photo: Patrick McElhenney, Fox)
More: David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the final of the season "Bones", the legacy of the series
Lichtman said that Fox executives "indulged in a fraudulent self-dealing scheme and practice that enriched" at the expense of the producers and stars of we had to reduce their profits.
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, the stars of "Bones" in his run from 2005 to 2017, filed a lawsuit against 21st Century Fox in 2015, claiming that she had denied them the profits by yielding the show to the TV division of Fox and Hulu at lower rates than the market. They were joined by executive producer Barry Josephson and Kathy Reichs, author of the novels on which "Bones" is based. The case was submitted to private arbitration in 2016.
"We are very proud of the hard work we have done on Bones for 12 seasons and we do not want Fox to live up to its promises and contractual obligations," Deschanel said in a statement.
Boreanaz added in his own statement that "it is clear that what we said from the beginning was true: we had to pay extra remuneration for our work".
David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel played characters created by author Kathy Reichs. (Photo: Patrick McElhenney, Fox)
Fox denounced the decision and vowed to fight it.
"The decision of this private arbitrator is categorically wrong on the merits and exceeds his powers of arbitration," said the company in a statement. "Fox will not let this flagrant injustice, fraught with mistakes and gratuitous attacks of character, defend itself and vigorously challenge the decision in court."
Among Lichtman's findings, it was found that Fox studio executives were not even trying to find the true market value of "Bones" -like broadcasts in negotiations with the Fox Network.
He said Fox had sacrificed Fox's studio activities for the success of Hulu, the network ceding the rights to "Bones" for a share of ad revenue that would not be shared with the studio. This has hurt producers.
Those parts of the decision were making waves in Hollywood on Wednesday, with speculative newspapers speculating on what this could mean for other studios having stakes in different entities doing business with each other.
"What we have exposed in this case will profoundly change the way Hollywood will do business for many years," said John Berlinski, counsel for the plaintiffs.
Lichtman also criticized what he called "the cavalier attitude" of the Fox executives who testified.
"None of the witnesses took responsibility or expressed remorse for their actions," the decision said, adding that officials "appear to have given false testimony to try to conceal their unlawful acts."
Some of Lichtman's top executives, including Peter Rice and Dana Walden, are heading to Disney as part of his $ 71.3 billion takeover of most of Fox.
Disney's general manager, Bob Iger, said he was standing alongside his future colleagues.
"Peter Rice and Dana Walden are highly respected leaders in this sector and we have full confidence in their character and integrity," Iger said in a statement released Wednesday. "Disney has no involvement in arbitration, and we understand that the decision is being challenged and we will let the courts decide the case."
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