Activison is coming under fire yet again from an unlikely source. Retired professional wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. Huffman, best known as Booker T, is suing the massive publisher for alleged copyright infringement. Huffman claims that the company used the likeness of his created comic book character, G. I. Bro, for the character David “Prophet” Wilkes in last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The suit states that the company “could have drawn him any way they wanted. But they chose to steal Booker T.’s “G. I. Bro.“”
Huffman originally portrayed a character named G. I. Bro in the early 1990s in professional wrestling. Then, in 2015 Huffman partnered with Travis Huffman to create and write a comic book about the G. I. Bro character titled, G. I. Bro and the Dragon of Death, who is based on Huffman himself. Since the release of the comic, Huffman “has promoted his character and his comic books by appearing at comic book events dressed as G. I. Bro.”
Huffman is represented by both Micah Dortch of Potts Law Firm and attorney Patrick Zummo with the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo. In a post on the Potts Law Firm website, Dortch states, “When seen side-by-side there can be no question that this character was copied from G. I. Bro. From the hair, body type and clothing, right down to facial expressions, the similarities are too profound to be an accident.” Dortch also mentions the success Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 had upon release. He then goes on to state that Huffman “devoted a significant amount of time and money creating and organically growing his G. I. Bro character” which the company took advantage of when creating the “Prophet” character and achieving sales success with the game.
This new lawsuit comes on the back of the company facing a tumultuous time. Earlier this week, the company began laying off nearly 800 employees despite a record year. The company has recently faced class action lawsuits and a fraud investigation following their split with developer Bungie last month.