Though Fortnite may be a worldwide phenomenon, it’s left a few people cold when it comes to the victory dances it “borrowed” from them. At the start, it was just rapper 2 Milly filing a lawsuit against Epic Games for stealing his dance moves. But now an equally big name is jumping into the legal shuffle.
A new report from TMZ confirms that Alfonso Ribeiro, who portrayed Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has filed a lawsuit against Epic, noting that the company has stolen his Carlton Dance, which he did on the show several times during its run.
The dance is featured in Fortnite through the “Fresh” emote, which you can see in the video below. As you can see, it’s pretty exact to Carlton’s moves, which you can also see right beneath that.
Alfonso’s attorney, David Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, said to TMZ, “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."
He added, “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."
This isn’t the first time that Epic has gotten in hot water over stolen dance moves. During a Scrubs reunion last month, Donald Faison voiced his displeasure over Epic Games stealing his iconic dance from the show. “If you wanna see it, you can play Fortnite, because they jacked that sh*t,” he said.
There’s no word yet if Faison will be joining in the lawsuit, but this might just urge him to do it.
TMZ also noted that Ribeiro has filed suit against 2K Games, as his Carlton Dance is apparently used for one of their games. More than likely it’s NBA 2K18, as 2 Milly filed a similar suit over his “Milly Rock” moves being swiped.
The real question here is if dances can be considered intellectual property. We know that 2 Milly, The Backpack Kid (from Instagram), Ribeiro and Faison have stylish moves that others try to copy, but can Epic Games face legal penalties by using them in their hit game? It looks like we’ll find out sometime in the months ahead.
(Hat tip to TMZ for the details and video links!)