Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred as Carlton in the hit ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is filing a lawsuit against Epic Games for allegedly stealing his character’s signature dance from the show for an emote in their worldwide phenomenon Fortnite.
First reported by TMZ, Ribeiro is targeting the game’s “Fresh” emote which came out at the beginning of the year. Ribeiro’s lawsuit claims that the dancing emote is a direct copy of his popularized dance. TMZ also states that Ribeiro is in the process of getting the copyright for the dance itself. Fortnite players can purchase the “Fresh” emote when it appears in the in-game store for 800 V-bucks, Fortnite’s virtual currency.
David Hecht, Ribeiro’s lawyer, stated that:
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.
Hecht also stated that Epic Games neither asked Ribeiro’s permission to use the dance nor did the company offer Ribeiro any form of compensation from the money made from selling the “Fresh” emote. Ribeiro isn’t the only person who is currently suing Epic Games either. Earlier this month, the rapper 2 Milly also filed a lawsuit against the company for similar reasons as Ribeiro. In response to the news, Epic Games has stated that the company does not comment on ongoing litigation. It has also been revealed that both Ribeiro and the rapper 2 Milly have filed lawsuits against 2k Sports’ NBA 2k franchise for the same reasons why they are suing Epic Games.
This isn’t the first time Epic Games has had to deal with litigation because of Fortnite. The company has taken legal action against cheaters in the game before. The developers had also faced a lawsuit from PUBG Corp for similarities between their battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite before the lawsuit was eventually withdrawn.