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Fortnite Accused by ‘Fresh Prince’ Actor of Lifting Carlton Dance

Dec. 17, 2018, 9:21 PMUpdated: Dec. 17, 2018, 9:48 PM

Epic Games Inc. has been hit with another suit over the dance moves in its blockbuster video game Fortnite.

The latest suit alleges in-game avatars do “the Carlton Dance” without Alfonso Ribeiro’s permission.

Ribeiro played the character of Carlton Banks on the hit sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and performed what has become known as “the Carlton Dance” for the first time on set in 1991, according to his complaint, filed Dec. 17.

Ribeiro has continued to publicly perform the Carlton Dance, cementing its popularity as part of his public image, he says.

Ribeiro inserted the dance into a round of Dancing with the Stars, and pop star Justin Timberlake and NBA player Stephen Curry performed the Carlton Dance together at a celebrity golf tournament, according to his complaint.

Epic Games didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment.

Ribeiro’s lawsuit follows that of 2 Milly, a rap star who sued the gaming company Dec. 5 for using his “Milly Rock” dance without his permission. Both Ribeiro and 2 Milly are represented by Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.

Fortnite players can purchase the dance using valid money or the in-game “V-bucks,” allowing the company to profit off of Ribeiro’s intellectual property, he says.

He alleges copyright infringment, unfair competition, and interference with his right of publicity. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Ribeiro filed a separatesuit against Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. and 2K Sports Inc. Dec. 17, saying their video game NBA 2K16 also uses the Carlton Dance without his permission or consent.

The case is Ribeiro v. Epic Games, Inc., C.D. Cal., No. 2:18-cv-10412, complaint filed 12/17/18.

(Updated to add parallel suit against Take-Two.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Porter Wells in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at