Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the creators of the popular online video games Fortnite and NBA 2K, respectively, for allegedly stealing a dance move he made famous during his tenure as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Ribeiro, 47, recently filed a lawsuit that claims Fortnite’s “Fresh” emote is an exact copy of “The Carlton” dance, which was featured on the ‘90s sitcom. Carlton frequently would blast Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” and swing his arms and wiggle his hips in an exaggerated move that quickly became synonymous with the character.
Fortnite released its latest move, which looks very similar to the character’s dance, for purchase on January 2, and the Ribeiro claims the company “unfairly profited” from using his likeness and taking advantage of his “protected creative expression.” The lawsuit states, “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. 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.”
Ribeiro is suing for damages and for both companies to stop using his likeness to make money without giving him any compensation.
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