Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred as Carlton Banks in the ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is the latest celebrity to sue Epic Games over claims that the company stole his dance and recreated it in Fortnite, according to Mr. Ribeiro’s law firm.
This dispute comes specifically in regards to the game’s dance “Fresh” emote, which came out in January of 2018. The dance was immediately recognized by the community as the “Carlton Dance,” which Ribeiro made famous. Even the Fresh name is a clear reference to the sitcom itself.
But, as was the case with Terrance Ferguson, a rapper also known as 2 Milly, who filed a lawsuit against Epic over his Milly Rock dance earlier this month, the legal ownership over dance moves is often difficult to determine. Any complaint of someone officially stealing a dance move resides mostly on copyright claims. According to TMZ, the actor is in the process of claiming the copyright for the dance.
Riberio was explicitly named in Ferguson’s complaint filing — which was filed by the same law firm — as part of a claim that Epic is, “exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements.” So far, there is no movement on Ferguson’s lawsuit.
When reaching out to Epic about the Ferguson lawsuit the company told Polygon that it, does not “comment on ongoing litigation.”