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Fresh Prince's Carlton sues Fortnite for copying his legendary dance

Banks on it.

Arguably the most famous dance ever created in the history of the world - except from the moonwalk maybe - is Carlton's finger-snapping, forearm-whirling, hip-swinging dance from TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. You all know it, just like you all know the words to Will Smith's rap-troduction.

Carlton's dance is fresh, literally - it would go on to be recreated by Epic Games in Fortnite with the emote name "Fresh". But now Fortnite is a super-huge deal, the actor behind Carlton, Alfonso Ribeiro, is not happy.

He's so not happy he's suing Epic.

Ribeiro pulled the Carlton dance out of the bag in epic style during 2014 TV show Dancing with the Stars, helping he and his partner to a perfect 40 points for the routine.

Here's what Ribeiro's attorney told TMZ: "It is widely recognised 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.

"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."

I'm not sure about "his likeness" but the reference to his "intellectual property" speaks to Ribeiro's trying to copyright the Carlton dance, well over 20 years after it first surfaced.

But Fortnite isn't the only game the Carlton dance appears in. Ribeiro and his legal team have evidently got wind of the dance being in the NBA 2K series because they're suing 2K Games as well.

Ribeiro doesn't seem to have noticed the Carlton dance in Destiny, however.

Ribeiro's legal beef with Fortnite follows a similar dance-related lawsuit filed by rapper 2 Milly against Epic Games, and a barbed joke by actor Donald Faison about the dance he created for Scrubs TV show character Turk being copied in the game.

Fortnite is due an update this morning at 10am GMT - not long from now. I wonder if it will alter or remove the Carlton Fresh dance? We shall see!

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About the Author

Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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