Alfonso Ribeiro went viral after word got out that he is suing Epic Games for having one of the characters break out into his famous “Carlton Dance,” which is a piece of pop culture history that we all remember from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” See Ribeiro below in the legendary sitcom:
Here is the clip of a video game character from Epic Games doing the same dance:
David Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP told TMZ, “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.” He continued, “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.”
No word on how much Ribeiro is asking for, however, it is interesting that he is suing over a dance he got from two other people.
Ribeiro has always said the “Carlton Dance” was inspired by Eddie Murphy in the standup special “Delirious” and Courteney Cox in Bruce Springsteen’s music video “Dancing in the Dark.”
See Courteney Cox at the 3:26 mark:
Watch Eddie Murphy at the 0:40 mark.
Ribeiro told Variety in 2015, “It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing. The dance is ultimately Courteney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video ‘Dancing in the Dark;’ that’s the basis. Or in Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’ video, The White Man Dance as he called it. And I said, ‘That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don’t I do that?’”
Clearly, Ribeiro perfected the dance, but Epic Games might certainly fight back with the origins of those legendary moves.