Alfonso Ribeiro suing Fortnite makers over ‘The Carlton’ dance
Robin L Marshall | Getty Images
Alfonso Ribeiro attends The 35th Annual Caucus Awards Dinner in Los Angeles, California.
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who rose to fame playing Carlton in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, is suing the makers of Fortnite and NBA 2K18 over a dance move in their videogames, Variety reported on Monday.
Court documents reportedly claim game producers Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive had unfairly profited from “The Carlton” – a dance made famous by the Ribeiro on the sitcom.
According to Variety, both games feature versions of the dance as an “emote,” a virtual dance that players can download during gameplay.
David L. Hecht, an attorney representing Ribeiro, told Variety in a statement that Epic had “earned record profits (from) downloadable content in (Fortnite), including emotes. Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property.”
As well as seeking a share of those profits, Ribeiro is reportedly requesting that the games cease to use “The Carlton.”
Ribeiro’s claim is the latest in a string of emote-related lawsuits. Rapper 2 Milly hired the same law firm in November to sue Epic over the use of his signature dance “Milly Rock,” and according to Business Insider, 16-year-old Ryan “Backpack Kid” Huggins is filing claims against Epic and Take-Two over the use of “the Floss” in their games.
Dancing is protected as intellectual property under U.S. copyright law.
Spokespersons for Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Imagala.com.
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, the law firm reportedly representing Ribeiro in the case, was also contacted for comment by Imagala.com.