×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Fresh Prince’ Actor Sues Epic Games Over Carlton Dance in Fortnite

Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, and Instagram star Backpack Kid are all filing complaints against Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive over dance emotes in “Fortnite” and “NBA 2K,” the law firm representing them told Variety on Monday.

2 Milly filed his suit against Epic Games earlier this month. It claims the game developer misappropriated the “Milly Rock” — a dance he created for a 2014 music video. Epic added a very similar dance emote to “Fortnite” during its fifth season called “Swipe It.” Epic never asked for his permission or compensated him, 2 Milly said. He’s now filing another complaint against Take-Two Interactive, which also uses the Milly Rock in “NBA 2K18.”

Meanwhile, actor Alfonso Ribeiro is filing complaints against Epic Games and Take-Two. Both “Fortnite” and “NBA 2K18” feature versions of “The Carlton” as an emote. Ribeiro created the dance during his time on the television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” It first appeared in the 1991 episode “Will’s Christmas Show.” Twenty-seven years later, it’s still immediately recognizable and Ribeiro continues to perform it for fans. He even inserted it into a 2014 performance on “Dancing With The Stars.” “The Carlton” is inextricably linked to the actor and is a part of his celebrity persona, and both Epic and Take-Two have unfairly profited from his creative expression, likeness, and celebrity without his consent and without compensation, according to a copy of the complaint provided to Variety.

“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,'” David L. Hecht, a partner at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, said to Variety in a statement. “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.”

Instagram personality Backpack Kid is also filing complaints against the two publishers over their use of his dance called “The Floss.” He famously performed it with Katy Perry during the song “Swish Swish” on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Two days later, Inside Edition published an interview with the teen. That video has received more than 53 million views to date.

Variety has reached out to both Epic Games and Take-Two about the complaints. An Epic Games spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation. Take-Two did not immediately respond.

More Gaming

  • Riot Games

    Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender-Discrimination Lawsuit

    Riot Games, developer of “League of Legends,” will fork over at least $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of women employees alleging the company’s “bro culture” resulted in systemic gender discrimination. Terms of the settlement in the case, reached in August, were revealed in court documents filed last week in California [...]

  • Dreamscape_Dragon vr

    Dreamscape Gets ‘DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy’ VR Experience (EXCLUSIVE)

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Dreamscape has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to launch a new “How to Train Your Dragons” experience at its flagship Westfield Century City VR center in Los Angeles later this month. The 11-minute “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy” experience allows up to 8 participants to hone their dragon-flying skills together, and [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Eases Restrictions on 'Simulated' Violence in Gaming Content

    YouTube announced a change to its content guidelines that will be more permissive in allowing depictions of violence in video-game content — as long as it’s not the sole focus of a video. Starting on Dec. 2, YouTube said, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as scripted [...]

  • Disney’s Frozen 2 and Laika’s Missing

    'Frozen 2,' 'Missing Link' Lead 47th Annie Award Nominations

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” and Laika’s “Missing Link” led the 47th Annie Award nominations Dec. 2 with eight each and will battle it out for best animated feature along with DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Netflix’s “Klaus” and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” when the ceremony is held on Jan. 25 at [...]

  • Black Friday Deals: Oculus Rift, PlayStation

    The Best Black Friday Deals for VR Headsets, Apps & Games

    Getting your own virtual reality (VR) setup at home used to be costly, requiring not only an expensive headset but also a full-blown gaming PC. Not anymore: The latest generation of all-in-one devices has made VR a lot more affordable, and deep discounts for the holiday season serve as another incentive to finally make the [...]

  • Beat Saber Acquired by Facebook, Company

    Facebook Buys the Maker of the Popular VR Game 'Beat Saber'

    Facebook has acquired Beat Games, the maker of the popular virtual reality (VR) music game “Beat Saber”, the social media giant announced Tuesday. Beat Games will operate as an independent studio under Oculus Studios, and continue to support “Beat Saber” on all existing platforms, according to a blog post penned by Facebook AR/VR director of [...]

  • Kris Bowers, Alan Silvestri, and Catherine

    Alan Silvestri, Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha Among Hollywood Music in Media Award Winners

    The 10th annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards rewarded a diverse crop of composers, songwriters and music supervisors who contributed to film, TV and videogames over the last year, from scorers Alan Silvestri, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Marco Beltrami and Michael Abels to tunesmiths Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha and the Avett Brothers to Quentin Tarantino’s longtime music sidekick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content