Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite Over Use Of "Carlton Dance"

Remember when Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton of "Fresh Prince Of Bel Air") came to the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines?  Turns out he's an avid golfer and ambassador for the sport.

Now Ribeiro is in the news for an entirely different reason.

He’s suing the makers of Fortnite for allegedly stealing his iconic “Carlton Dance."  

He claims that the “Fresh emote” is carbon copy of the moves that he developed for his “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” character, Carlton Banks. 

Alfonso’s lawyer, David Hecht, said, “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.” 

Naturally, Epic Games isn’t talking. Meanwhile, Alfonso has filed a similar suit against 2K Games for using his moves in NBA 2K.

However, Ribeiro's loose lips may sink his own lawsuit ship.

He admitted in 2012 – on camera – that HE stole the moves from Courteney Cox and Eddie Murphy. Well sort of. When the show asked him to come up with a dance, he decided that he wanted Carlton to dance like a super white person. So he combined Cox’s “Dancing in the Dark” moves with Eddie’s famous “White Man Dance.” 

So the question is whether Ribeiro can sue for something allegedly stole. His lawyer, David Hecht, downplayed the clip with, “On numerous occasion, Mr. Ribeiro used the word, ‘stole,’ in jest. He did use the word ‘stole’ in the legal sense. In his words, it was Ribeiro’s (a professional dancer’s) interpretation of what a white person looks like when they dance. That describes a copyrightable choreographic work.”

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