'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribiero Accuses 'Fortnite' Of Stealing His Signature "Carlton" Dance

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Former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribiero is suing the creators of Fortnite for allegedly using his signature “Carlton” dance move without his permission, according to Buzzfeed News. The actor filed a lawsuit on Monday against Epic Games (which owns Fortnite) for copyright infringement, among other actionable causes. (Bustle has reached out to the actor's reps for comment, but had yet to hear back at the time of publication.)

Update: On Tuesday evening, a rep for Ribeiro responded to Bustle's request for comment via email, stating that the actor "has no personal comment on the legal complaints filed against Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive." They also provided the following statement to Bustle that read:

"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. Therefore, Mr. Ribeiro is seeking his fair and reasonable share of profits Epic has earned by use of his iconic intellectual property in Fortnite and as a result is requesting through the courts that Epic cease all use of Mr. Ribeiro’s signature dance.
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP is also pursuing similar claims against Take-Two Interactive and Visual Concepts, developer of the NBA 2K series of video games, on behalf of Mr. Ribeiro."

Earlier: Ribeiro claims that the dance move — which has become a beloved, quirky trait of his Fresh Prince character Carlton Banks — can be found under the name "Fresh" where players go to customize their avatars. “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,” Ribeiro’s lawyer David L. Hecht told People in a statement, adding:

“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. Therefore, Mr. Ribeiro is seeking his fair and reasonable share of profits Epic has earned by use of his iconic intellectual property in Fortnite and as a result is requesting through the courts that Epic cease all use of Mr. Ribeiro’s signature dance."
TY_ on YouTube

However, Ribeiro isn't the only celebrity to take legal action against this specific company. Earlier in December, rapper 2 Milly also filed a suit against Epic Games for unethical business practices, according to TMZ, claiming that Fortnite had stolen his signature “Milly Rock” dance under the emote “Swipe It." Additionally, Backpack Kid Russell Horning has also filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, alleging that the company has been using his iconic "Floss" dance move without his permission or compensation, as reported by Newsweek.

Clearly, there's a lot of controversy surrounding this company, especially when it comes to this particular game, Fortnite, which launched in 2017. That being said, though, it's also worth noting that while Ribeiro may be forever linked to the Carlton Dance we've all come to know and love, he's admitted in the past that the goofy choreography his character emulated didn't just come to him on a whim — the moves were inspired from Eddie Murphy's standup special “Delirious” as well as Courteney Cox, who showcased similar steps in Bruce Springsteen’s widely popular music video “Dancing in the Dark.”

BruceSpringsteenVEVO on YouTube

“It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing," Ribeiro told Variety back in 2015, regarding the origins of the Carlton dance. "The dance is ultimately Courteney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video ‘Dancing in the Dark;’ that’s the basis. Or in Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’ video, The White Man Dance as he called it. And I said, ‘That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don’t I do that?’”

Of course, Ribeiro went on to truly perfect the move and really make it his own, but given how he himself happened upon the dance move, it could end up damaging his case. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.