Fortnite creators sued by Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro over use of ‘Carlton Dance’ in video game

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor claims popular game ‘unfairly profited’ by using his famous moves

Tom Barnes
Tuesday 18 December 2018 09:33
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Alfonso Ribeiro performs the Carlton Dance

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro is suing the makers of video game Fortnite over the use of a dance he popularised on the US sitcom.

Ribeiro, 47, has alleged Fortnite creator Epic Games ripped off the “Carlton Dance” his character made famous during the hit 1990s show starring Will Smith.

He is also taking action against 2K Games, the makers of the NBA 2K basketball series, which he claims similarly used the dance without his permission.

In two separate lawsuits filed on Monday, Ribeiro alleged the companies unfairly profited from his “creative expression, likeness and celebrity” by allowing players to perform the routine in the games.

The actor is in the process of copyrighting the dance, according to legal papers, and will seek damages from both firms.

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The dance was made famous during The Fresh Prince’s TV run, when Ribeiro’s character, Smith's geeky cousin and sidekick Carlton Banks, often performed the moves accompanied by the Tom Jones hit It’s Not Unusual.

Fortnite is currently one of the most popular video games in the world, allowing players to compete against each other online in various survival-style game modes.

Ribeiro appeared on British television screens when he took part in the 2013 series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

The following year, he won Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing, one week incorporating the Carlton Dance into his performance.

Neither Epic Games nor 2K Games have responded to the lawsuit.

Additional reporting by PA

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