Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiero is suing Fortnite for using his signature dance without permission.
Fortnite is one of the most popular online games, where players fight for survival and purchase cool emotes, like dances. The game is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a month, thanks to its special purchase items, like dances. The game’s dances have become so popular, players have begun posting videos of themselves doing them online with the hashatag #fortnitedance.
Well, one of those emotes, titled “Fresh” is getting the game makers sued.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the Fresh Price of Bel Air now says the companies have “unfairly profited” from using his likeness and are exploiting his “protected creative expression.”
Ribiero first performed the dance during the show’s 1991 Christmas episode and then revived it on his 2014 run on “Dancing with the Stars.” The lawsuits ask a California federal court to bar the game developers from using, selling or displaying the dance.
The suits also states that Ribeiro is in the process of copyrighting the dance.
Why is he copyrighting the dance? Because this isn’t the first time it’s happened!
NBA 2K16 also used the dance in their basketball series without asking. But Alfonso’s fight isn’t just about him, it’s about all the creatives the game is profiting off of.
Donald Faison from Scrubs has also expressed his frustration at the game for using his signature Turk dance.
He tweeted this.
Dear fortnite… I’m flattered? Though part of me thinks I should talk to a lawyer…
— Donald Faison (@donald_faison) April 1, 2018
Chance the Rapper also spoke out about the phenomenon tweeting this.
Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) July 13, 2018
Some people, however, did not agree with Chance…
Like Ben who said: They created the most popular video game ever, and if using those dances is an issue I think that should be a separate conversation. I don’t believe anyone deserves royalties. To which Chance replied: “No u just don’t believe the black one should.”
Dance moves and hand gestures, however, are incredibly difficult to copyright. Michael Jackson even tried to claim ownership over his iconic moonwalk… but was ultimately unable to. The creators of the dances feel it’s unfair for gaming companies like Epic to be profiting off of something they created. After all, the entertainment business is tough enough as it is, guys!
But what do you think? Should these popular dances be free to use? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.