Former Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Alfonso Ribeiro, aka Carlton Banks, is currently suing huge video game companies over the use of the dance he created for the hit 90’s sitcom. Wondering what’s going on with one of the most talked about lawsuits in the entertainment industry? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about the story that will likely make headlines over and over again in 2019.
Suing Video Games Giants
Most remember Alfonso Ribeiro from his role as Carlton on the smash sitcom, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. He also currently hosts America’s Funniest Home Videos and won season 19 of Dancing With The Stars. Recently, fans have noticed similarities between dances in hit video games and the actor’s famous “Carlton Dance” from Fresh Prince.
Haven’t seen the two dances? Check out the video below, and decide for yourself:
Ribeiro believes there’s more than just a similarity between his dance and the characters’ movements in the video games. He believes the video game creators stole the dance he invented especially for a specific moment on The Fresh Prince. So, on December 17, 2018, the actor took matters into his own hands and sued the video game creators. Ribeiro is suing the publishers of both Fortnite and NBA 2K for using the dance without his permission.
Who Does “The Carlton Dance” Belong To?
Last month, the 47-year-old actor officially filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., and 2K Sports in the California District Court. The allegations state, “The companies used an unauthorized use of Ribeiro’s highly popular signature dance in their video game. Defendants have unfairly profited from exploiting Ribeiro’s protected creative expression, likeness, and trademark.”
Not only is “The Carlton” associated with Ribeiro, but the dance is also literally named after his former role. The lawsuit claims, “[It was] Ribeiro [that] created his highly recognizable dance.” Additionally, in a game of Fortnite, players are being charged to change or customize this “built-in” dance. Meaning, game creators are profiting millions off the “Carlton” dance. Over 125 millions players worldwide use the dance daily, all without Ribeiro’s consent or compensation. And it wasn’t only Ribeiro that took notice! Immediately, players immediately recognized the dance and associated it with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor.
However, some are now wondering if Ribeiro really “created” the dance at all…
“So Fresh” Or So Stolen?
The game NBA 2K 2016 features a dance move titled “So Fresh” – which is also eerily familiar to the “Carlton” dance. Once again, the similarities between the game and the original “Carlton Dance” are uncanny. Once again, the creators did not seek Ribeiro’s permission. The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek relief and damages, including, but not limited to, Epic’s profits attributed to its misappropriation of ‘The [Carlton] Dance’ and Ribeiro’s likeness.”
However, recently, an old video of Riberio re-surfaced, where he admitted he “stole” the moves of the famous “Carlton Dance.” Some speculate this can hurt the lawsuit and his credibility. In the video, TMZ asks the actor about the dance and its origins. Riberio states that in the episode script it called for Carlton to dance, but it was up to Riberio to create the dance. He continues, “…”How would Carlton dance?” I will steal it. I stole it from Courtney Cox and Eddie Murphy. It’s a combination of all of that, with a little bit of me mixed in.”
Once again, you judge for yourself just how much Riberio “stole” for the dance:
As for the side of video game companies, there was no comment from neither Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. As of this writing, they have not responded to questions or news statements about the on-going lawsuit.