The man behind one of YouTube’s biggest web series believes his partner network is about to go belly up, and before that happens, he wants to get paid. A lawyer representing Dane Boedigheimer, the creator of The Annoying Orange, has filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court ordering The Collective Digital Studio to arbitration.
The news of Boedigheimer’s lawsuit comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which shared some choice excerpts from the relevant court papers. In them, Boedigheimer, who is one of the most successful creators within the Collective Digital Studio multi-channel network, claims the MCN is not holding up its end of the deal. “For months, The Collective has refused to pay Boedigheimer and his production company, Annoying Orange, Inc., any revenue generated from the exploitation of The Annoying Orange and other content and has kept all of the revenues for itself,” reads the suit.
As the man known online as Daneboe told THR, The Collective is stalling on a previous demand for arbitration. Why would The Collective decline to pay up? According to the suit, The Collective “may be going out of business and does not have the financial ability to pay Boedigheimer the money he is owed.” Evidence of those financial struggles can be found in The Collective’s recent decision to shutter the music side of its business and focus on digital projects.
Boedigheimer offered a summary of the suit in a vlog on his personal channel. He also explained that the results of these legal proceedings could affect his schedule. “There may come a time when I’m not going to be able to do as many videos as I used to be able to do, because of the circumstances,” he admits.
Since its launch in 2009, The Annoying Orange, which follows the adventures of an anthropomorphic citrus and his fruity pals, has found a huge audience. Its main YouTube channel has more than four million subscribers and almost 2.4 billion views, and a two-season TV show based on the web series aired between 2012 and 2014 on the Cartoon Network.