Alfonso Ribeiro of ‘Fresh Prince’ sues Fortnite, NBA 2K over Carlton dance
It’s not unusual to get upset about something like this.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who famously played beloved loser Carlton Banks on ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is suing the creators of Fortnite and NBA 2K for using the dance he made popular — aptly termed “The Carlton” in popular lexicon — without his permission or credit.
For those unaware, this is what it looks like:
Often, Carlton would dance along to Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual.
In separate lawsuits filed Monday in federal court, Ribeiro alleges that Fortnite-maker Epic Games and 2K Sports-creator Take-Two Interactive used his dance without consulting him.
“Epic has unfairly profited from exploiting Ribeiro’s protected creative expression and likeness and celebrity without his consent or authorization,” the lawsuit alleges.
In Fortnite, the dance “emote” is instead called “Fresh.” There is no reference to Carlton at all. Ribeiro has asked for a judge’s order to stop both games from using his moves, saying he’s currently in the middle of copyrighting the dance.
This is not the first suit filed against Fortnite; in fact, multiple artists and celebrities have taken issue with the game’s free usage of material.
Rapper 2 Milly filed a lawsuit against Epic Games in early December, claiming that Fortnite had a dance called “Swipe It” which seemed identical to his dance, the “Milly Rock.” He claims he never received compensation and was never contacted by the game company.
In July, Chance the Rapper tweeted about Fortnite not giving credit to artists.
Former Scrubs star Donald Faison, who famously danced to Poison by Bel Biv Devoe on the hospital sitcom, also claims Fortnite “jacked” his moves.
Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence said he was contacted by Epic Games and asked whether or not the game could use the choreography. While Faison was upset, he never filed a lawsuit.
On Tuesday morning, TMZ reported that viral sensation Backpack Kid (the creator of the ever-popular “Floss” dance) has filed a lawsuit against Fortnite as well, claiming the game ripped him off without compensation.
As of this writing, Epic Games and Take-Two haven’t made any public comment on the lawsuits.
— With files from the Associated Press
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