Fortnite Devs Also Getting Sued by Fresh Prince Star Over Carlton Dance Emote

Fortnite Devs Also Getting Sued by Fresh Prince Star Over Carlton Dance Emote

A second celebrity sues Epic.

Actor Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for his work as Carlton Banks in the 90s Will Smith sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the latest celebrity to sue Epic Games over an emote in the company's popular Fortnite game that recreates Ribeiro's "Carlton Dance" from the show. Ribeiro also filed an identical suit against 2K Games.

Ribeiro is disputing the "Fresh" emote in Fortnite that first came out in January 2018 and which is clearly a reference to the famous dance, including even the name of the emote. Ribeiro joins rapper Terrance "2Milly" Ferguson in suing Epic over a dance these celebrities popularized. Earlier this year Scrubs actor Donald Faison criticized Epic over the use of one of his dances from the medical sitcom as the default dance emote in Fortnite.

While copyright law is sometimes byzantine, especially when it comes to performances, TMZ reports that Ribeiro is currently in the process of copyrighting his dance from Fresh Prince.

Ferguson actually cited Ribeiro in his own lawsuit claiming Epic is, "exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements." As Fortnite employs many emotes referencing real dances from pop-culture it remains to be seen what the fallout will be from these two lawsuits and mounting criticism from actors and performers.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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