Arbitrator awards ‘Bones’ stars, producers $179 million in damages in dispute against Fox

Arbitrator awards ‘Bones’ stars, producers $179 million in damages in dispute against Fox
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A private arbiter has ordered that 21st Century Fox must pay $179 million in damages for allegedly defrauding the stars and executive producer of its hit show "Bones" out of millions of dollars in profit.

CNBC reported Wednesday that the arbiter, Peter Lichtman, ruled earlier this month that "Bones" producers and actors were left out of profit sharing from licensing fees by company executives who engaged in "self-dealing." 

Lichtman ruled that Fox engaged in fraud by providing "Bones" content to Hulu at below-market rate, thereby causing the actors and producer to miss out on profit. Fox owned one-third of Hulu at the time. 

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Lichtman accused the company of a “cavalier attitude toward its wrongdoing" according to The Hollywood Reporter, which detailed the rulings against Fox. The arbiter added that the media giant's actions exhibited a "company-wide culture and an accepted climate that enveloped an aversion for the truth."

“In fact, one could question whether a five to one ratio given Fox’s financial condition and lack of contrition serves to deter the wrongful conduct at issue here, or whether it will be considered part of the cost of doing business,” he continued, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"Bones," a hit show on the Fox network, ran for 12 seasons between 2005-2017 and starred David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, who are reportedly represented by Kasowitz Benson Torres in the case.

Fox said in a statement Wednesday that it is challenging the decision.

“The ruling by this private arbitrator is categorically wrong on the merits and exceeded his arbitration powers. Fox will not allow this flagrant injustice, riddled with errors and gratuitous character attacks, to stand," attorneys for 21st Century Fox told CNBC.