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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

By Staff Reports
 

LOS ANGELES—Actor Alfonso Ribeiro sued the makers of the popular Fortnite video game Monday, claiming one of the victory celebrations available for the game's characters is the "Carlton Dance" made famous by Ribeiro on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

"Through its unauthorized use of Riberio's highly popular signature dance in its smash-hit, violent video game, Fortnite Battle Royale, (Epic Games Inc.) has unfairly profited from exploiting Ribeiro's protected creative expression and likeness and celebrity without his consent or authorization," according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

Officials with Epic Games could not be reached for immediate comment.

The lawsuit contends that the game includes an in-game purchase titled "Fresh," which is used to customize avatars players use in the video game. The suit contends that the "Fresh" dance is easily recognizable as the dance performed by Ribeiro in his role as Carlton Banks on the "Fresh Prince" series, which starred Will Smith.

"Epic cannot profit from Ribeiro's hard-earned fame by its intentional misappropriation of Ribeiro's original content and likeness," according to the suit. "Epic cannot increase the value of its main product by faking endorsements by celebrities."

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

According to the lawsuit, Ribeiro created the "Carlton Dance" for a 1991 episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" titled "Will's Christmas Show," and 27 years later, it "remains distinctive, immediately recognizable and inextricably linked to Ribeiro's identity, celebrity and likeness."

Ribeiro is the latest performer to sue over the dance moves in Fortnite. Rapper 2 Milly recently sued, claiming the game mimics his "Milly Rock" dance.