'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribeiro Sues 'Fortnite' Maker for Using 'Carlton' Dance

According to court documents obtained by ET, the actor filed papers at the U.S. District Court in Central California.

Alfonso Ribeiro is suing Epic Games for using the dance he made famous on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in their Fortnite video game.

According to court documents obtained by ET, the actor, who played Carlton Banks on the TV sitcom, filed papers at the U.S. District Court in Central California, alleging that Epic Games has unfairly profited from exploiting his protected creative expression, likeness and celebrity without his consent or authorization.

Players are able to customize their avatars with the dance, under the name “Fresh.”

The documents state that “The Dance” has become synonymous with Ribeiro, who is credited with creating it, and that its unique movements evoke a connection to him. Ribeiro has also been interviewed several times about the creation and how to properly perform it.

The papers state that Ribeiro submitted an application on Friday to register “The Dance” with the US Copyright Office.

The 47-year-old actor is requesting a jury trial and an order restraining Epic Games from using, selling or displaying Ribeiro’s copyright in the Fortnite game. He is also requesting an award of damages according to proof, punitive and/or exemplary damages, attorney’s fees and cost.

In 2016, Justin Timberlake shared a video of him doing “#TheCarlton” alongside Ribeiro and basketballer Stephen Curry at a celebrity golf tournament.

Ribeiro, who is currently expecting his third child with wife Angela, starred on the NBC show alongside Will Smith from 1990-1996.

According to NBC New York, Ribeiro’s attorney, David Hecht, is also working on a lawsuit for "floss" dance creator Russell Horning for Epic Games’ use of the dance, and rapper 2 Milly recently sued the company for using an emote that resembled the "Milly Rock" dance. 

When asked for a statement, Epic Games told ET they "do not comment on ongoing litigation."

See more on Ribeiro and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air below.


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