Richard Dreyfuss Sues Disney Over ‘What About Bob?’ Profits

Dreyfuss What About Bob Lawsuit
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Richard Dreyfuss has filed suit against The Walt Disney Co., in a case that takes aim at studio accounting practices by claiming that Disney is refusing to allow a firm that specializes in profit participation audits to examine the company’s returns from “What About Bob?”

Dreyfuss is joined in the lawsuit by Christine Turner, who is seeking an audit of the returns from “Turner and Hooch,” which was produced by her late husband, Raymond Wagner.

Dreyfuss and Turner each claim that Disney is refusing to allow their chosen auditor, Robinson and Co., to conduct the examination, on the grounds that it must be done by a “national firm of reputable CPAs, the selection of which is subject to [Disney’s] approval not to be unreasonably withheld.”

The plaintiffs contend that the nationally recognized big four accounting firms don’t have experience in studio audits, while a handful of smaller and more specialized firms like Robinson do. They point out that Robinson principals do have experience at Big Four firms, as well as at the studios.

“Disney has not stated any basis for its conclusion that Robinson Inc. is not a nationally recognized firm,” the suit states. “Apparently no one can leave a ‘nationally recognized firm without running afoul of Disney’s policy regarding the same.”

The suit adds, “What Disney has done is reduce an already very small pool of auditors to a nearly non-existent puddle, and made it exceedingly difficult for profit participants to retain the best possible representation and be paid the monies they are due.” The plaintiffs also note that Robinson, working on contingency, is a “particularly effective and aggressive auditor” usually able to recover large sums for clients.

The suit claims breach of contract, unlawful interference in the pursuit of a lawful profession and interference with contractual relations, among other claims. Robinson and Co. also is a plaintiff in the suit, which was filed by Neville Johnson, Douglas Johnson and Jordanna Thigpen.

The lawsuit also takes aim at studio accounting practices generally, noting the long queue it takes to examine a studio’s books. The suit claims that the wait at Disney is three years, calling it “inexcusable and outrageous.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 7

Leave a Reply

7 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Zaz_Cag says:

    He should be suing Touchstone Pictures instead. Stop treating Touchstone like it’s a dead studio.

  2. george g says:

    we provided all the books to hillary clinton, our lawyer, in electronic format..destroying the originals thereafter …

  3. Bob says:

    Disney wants them to take baby steps to find the results! Just hasn’t been the same since Disney sold out to Hollywood in so many ways. Go get him Dr. Marvin, I mean”Leo”! Loved the movie.

  4. Joe T says:

    I agree with Jedi77. If Disney is conducting its business honestly then they should welcome an independent audit to prove it. Stalling only serves to indicate deception.

  5. jedi77 says:

    If you have nothing to hide, show us the books.
    The harder you make it, the more you’re in the way, the more guilty you look.

    I know this will drag on for years, but I honestly hope the studio gets their asses handed to them in court!

  6. BobC says:

    Wow~ How are you able to see the keys on your computer with that white hood over your head and one finger digging in your nose, pantieplus? Any bigoted things to say about women, blacks and Catholics?

More Film News from Variety

Loading