The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was one of the most successful television series of the 1990s. One of the most well known moments from the show involved Alfonso Ribiero’s Carlton character, whose generally uptight demeanor made for one of the wackiest dances in television history. While some may call this dance the world’s first meme, Ribiero believes it is his intellectual property. Not only is he planning on copyrighting his signature dance, but he is also suing Fortnite developer Epic Games over their use of it.
For the majority of 2018, Epic Games has come under fire from several different entertainers for using their dances without credit in their ridiculously popular game. Earlier in the year, basketball player Terrance Ferguson filed a suit for the misuse of his “Milly Rock” dance, which was rebranded as the “Swipe It” emote in Fortnite. Ferguson called out Epic Games in his suit over an alleged pattern of “exploiting African-American talent in particular in Fortnite by copying their dances and movements,” noting the Carlton Dance as a key example of this in his own suit.
While filing a suit against Epic over the “Fresh” emote, which replicates his own dance, Alfonso Ribeiro is also suing 2K for their use of it in the NBA 2K series.
What do you make of this lawsuit? Is Carlton doing the right thing by protecting his property, or do you feel as if copyrights shouldn’t be enforced on dances? Hit the comments below to let us know what you think!