With all due respect to the other “performance artists” who have recently taken to filing legal action against game companies for the use of their dance moves in video games, it’s Alfonso Ribiero — a.k.a. Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — who’s captured the lion’s share of the attention. Late last year, Ribiero sued Epic Games for its use of the “Fresh” dance in Fortnite: Battle Royale (as well as Take-Two for its use in NBA 2K), but it turns out that his request for copyright was refused last month.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a supervisory registration specialist in California has refused Ribiero’s claim, telling his attorney that “registration must be refused because his claimed ‘choreographic work’ was a ‘simple dance routine.'” Of note is the question as to whether Ribiero “owns” the move in the first place, since it was created for a network TV show. That’s similar to the case of former Scrubs actor Donald Faison, whose “Poison” dance is also found in Fortnite.
While the lack of a copyright might not make a lawsuit impossible, it seems unlikely that Ribiero will see much, if anything from the legal proceedings. Complicating the matter is the fact that Ribiero has admitted to being inspired by other sources when “creating” the dance and that it has appeared in several other games over the years, including Guild Wars 2, as pictured at the top of this article.
And that concludes today’s edition of MMOBomb: Celebrity News Edition.