Alfonso Ribeiro is filing a lawsuit against Fortnite for using a dance that he created nearly thirty years ago on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air referred to as the "Carlton Dance." The famous dance first appeared in the season 2 episode "Christmas Show," but became a recurring gag on the show, often involving Tom Jones' song "It's Not Unusual."
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1996, launching the career of Will Smith into the acting spotlight, but it also featured a talented cast that included James Avery, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, and Daphne Reid. Fortnite, on the other hand, became an instant hit with gamers when it was released in 2017. The Battle Royale styled game is a cartoonish shooter that tasks players with creating fortifications to protect objects. Something that makes Fortnite stand out among other games are hilarious emotes that players can use in the game to make their avatar dance, but Ribeiro apparently doesn't find one in particular to be especially funny.
First reported by The Hill, Ribeiro is suing the creators of Fortnite for using his iconic "Carlton Dance." Ribeiro's attorney issued a statement regarding the matter, mentioning that Epic Games had turned a profit by including the emote called "Fresh" in the game, but Ribeiro was never asked permission for the use of his dance in the game, nor had he received any of the profits. Not only does Ribeiro want his share of the money, he also wants Fortnite to stop using his dance move completely.
Since its initial release, Fortnite has continued to expand and grow in popularity. Fortnite hit 8.3 million concurrent players last month and Epic Games continues to update the game by including new features and weapons for players to enjoy. The game has become such a huge deal that some parents are even paying for Fortnite training for their kids. What's more is that the emotes aren't the only way Fortnite is embracing pop culture, since Thanos also became a playable character for a short period of time.
While the emotes have become a signature part of Fortnite, losing one certainly won't hurt the game - even if "Fresh" is a popular one to use. That being said, this isn't the first time Epic Games has gotten in trouble for stealing dances, as the rapper 2 Milly recently sued the company for using his dance "Milly Rock." While the "Fresh" emote is clearly a ripoff of the "Carlton Dance," one can't help but think that the lawsuit won't go anywhere since Ribeiro himself stole the dance from moves that Courteney Cox and Eddie Murphy performed in a music video and standup set, respectively, prior to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That being said, it makes sense why Ribeiro would feel cheated since Fortnite has become such a huge success.
Source: The Hill