The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star is taking Epic Games to court.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Will Smith’s cousin Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is suing Epic Games for copying the “Carlton Dance” from the 90s TV show. Ribeiro is in the process of copyrighting the dance. This means that anyone who performs the “Carlton Dance” may have to pay Ribeiro royalties if they use it elsewhere. In this video, Carlton is dancing to Tom Jones’ 1965 hit “It’s Not Unusual”.
Ribeiro is still famous for the dance, even long after the show has ended. However, the actor says that he’s tired of fans asking him to perform the dance in public. The 47-year-old actor said in a 2017 interview, “I get asked to do the dance every day I leave the house. The only day in my life where I’m not going to get asked to do that dance is if I stay home,” he continued.
Below is the Fortnite version of the dance.
This may create confusion among both Fresh Prince and Fortnite fans: what is Ribeiro really up to? The emote came out in January in 2018. Rapper 2 Milly, another celebrity, also sued Epic Games for allegedly stealing the “Milly Rock” dance and named Ribeiro and rapper Snoop Dogg in his lawsuit against the Fortnite developers. 2 Milly alleges that Epic Games is exploiting African-American talent by copying their dances and movements.
Are celebrities going to demand royalties from Epic Games?
Epic Games says that they are not commenting on any ongoing litigation. However, celebrities’ legal teams may be foaming at the mouth to get a cut of Fortnite‘s revenues. There may be one upside of Ribeiro’s litigation. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air may have an entirely new generation of fans. A good amount of Fortnite players weren’t even born during the show’s original run (1990-1996).
What do you think about Ribeiro’s lawsuit? Does the Fortnite developer have to pay royalties to the creators of these dances or not? Let us know in the comments below!