‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ Star Alfonso Ribeiro Sues ‘Fortnite’ Creators For Allegedly Using His ‘Carlton Dance’
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Alfonso Ribeiro is suing the makers of Fortnite for allegedly using his signature “Carlton” dance that the actor made popular through his role on the TV series.
In the lawsuits that were filed on Monday, Ribeiro claims that Epic Games used his dance under the name “Fresh,” which players can purchase and customize to their own Fortnite characters. The dance, which is described as “expressing yourself on the battlefield,” shows Fortnite characters doing a similar dance to the Carlton dance, which include arm waving and gyrating hip gestures.
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Ribeiro says that Fortnite developer Epic Games Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., creator of the NBA 2K series, have “unfairly profited” by exploiting his “protected creative expression.”
“It is widely recognized that Mr. Ribeiro’s likeness and intellectual property have been misappropriated by Epic Games in the most popular video game currently in the world, Fortnite,” Ribeiro’s lawyer David L. Hecht said in a statement.
“Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like ‘Fresh.’ Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property,” he continued.
“Therefore, Mr. Ribeiro is seeking his fair and reasonable share of profits Epic has earned by use of his iconic intellectual property in Fortnite and as a result is requesting through the courts that Epic cease all use of Mr. Ribeiro’s signature dance,” he concluded.
In Ribeiro’s lawsuit, he asks a California court to bar the game developer from using, selling, or displaying the dance. He also states that he is in the process of copyrighting the dance.
Ribeiro is most known for his role as Carlton Banks in the 1990s Fresh Prince sitcom in which he has been linked to his arm-swinging boogie.
This isn’t the first time that a celebrity took legal action against the company, as earlier this month, rapper 2 Milly filed a suit against Epic games and Take-Two Interactive for alleging using his “Milly rock” dance that he created for his 2014 music video. Fortnite allegedly uses under the emote “Swipe It.”
Fornite and NBA 2K are among the most popular video games in the world. Recently, Epic games announced that 78.3 million users logged in to play Fortnite in August.