Multiple public figures, including “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro, are suing “Fortnite” over the use of their dances in the game.

What’s going on: In “Fortnite,” gamers can unlock and purchase dances — called an “emote” — that their character performs in the game. Those dances include the Carlton dance, which Ribeiro made famous in the “Fresh Prince” TV show and the “Floss” dance made popular by the viral Backpack Kid.

Lawsuits: Ribeiro filed two lawsuits Monday that said Epic Games “unfairly profited” from using the dance and from using his “protected creative expression,” CNN reports.

  • Ribeiro also sued Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the creator of the NBA 2K video game series. The dance appears in that game as well.
  • “The dance is now inextricably linked to Ribeiro and has continued to be part of his celebrity persona,” the lawsuit states.
  • Ribeiro’s lawsuits call for a California federal judge to stop game developers from using the dance and remove it immediately. The lawsuits say Ribeiro is in the process of copyrighting the dance, CNN reports.
  • His attorney, David Hecht, said that the Copyright Act protects any “pantomimes and choreographic works” that were created after Jan. 1, 1978, BuzzFeed News reports.
  • “There is no question that choreography can be protected through copyright,” said Hecht.

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Reaction: Epic Games and Take-Two have remained silent on the matter.

More dances: Ribeiro claims “Fornite” consistently takes dances from black celebrities and public figures, BuzzFeed reports.

  • For example, he alleges the game took dances from Snoop Dogg and rapper 2 Milly, who already filed a lawsuit against “Fortnite” for allegedly stealing his “Swipe” dance.
  • “This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent. Our client Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton is pursuing similar claims against Epic for use of his likeness in the popular ‘Cole Train’ character in the ‘Gears of War’ video game franchise,” said Hecht, according to Variety. “Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it.”
  • Hecht said he is preparing a lawsuit for Russell Horning, the “Backpack Kid,” over the use of the flossing dance, NBC New York reports. According to BuzzFeed, Horning filed his lawsuit on Monday. He calls for the game to remove the dance and unspecified damages.
  • And “Scrubs” actor Donald Faison said the game stole his dance to the Bell Biv DeVoe song “Poison.”

Critics: And if that’s not enough, Chance The Rapper criticized the game for stealing dances.

  • 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,” he tweeted.

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