Alfonso Ribeiro, famous for starring as Carlton Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is the latest celebrity to sue the creators of Fortnite for stealing a signature dance move.
According to TMZ, the actor says Epic Games—the maker of Fortnite—released a dance on the platform called the “Fresh emote” in January 2018 that copies the dance he created and popularized while starring in the 90s sitcom.
“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 attorney, David Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP told TMZ. “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.”
TMZ reports that Ribeiro also filed an identical lawsuit against the creators of NBA 2K. The former Fresh Prince star is reportedly in the process of copyrighting the Carlton dance.
The actor told Variety the cultural phenomenon was started spontaniously. because the script simply read “Carlton dances.”
“It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing,” Ribeiro said. “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?’”
This lawsuit comes after Rapper 2 Milly filed a similar lawsuit earlier this month for stealing his “Milly Rock” dance.
As it turns out, Ribeiro admittedly told TMZ that he too stole the dance and added his on flare.
“How would Carlton dance? I know exactly, I’m gonna steal it,” Ribeiro told TMZ back in 2012. “I stole it from Courtney Cox and Eddie Murphy.”