Alfonso Ribeiro would really ratherĀ never do the ā€œCarlton danceā€ again, but, since theĀ Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air actor says heā€™s asked to boogie every time he leaves the house, he might as well be getting paid. Thatā€™s the thinking, at least, behind a lawsuit Ribeiro filed last year. In December, Ribeiro sued 2K and Fortnite owners Epic Games for pretty clearing ripping his moves in an add-on danceĀ Fortnite players can purchase for their character. See it below and just try not to hear Tom Jones in the background.

The question, of course, is whether Ribeiro actually has a valid ownership claim over the dance, which he introduced in a 1991 episode of Fresh Prince and resurrected during his stint on Dancing With The Stars. The answer, according to the U.S. Copyright Office, is no, and theyā€™re kinda being dicks about it.

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist in the Officeā€™s Performing Arts Division, says Ribeiroā€™s registration for the copyright is being refused because the ā€œCarlton danceā€ is nothing more than a ā€œsimple dance routineā€ that simply anyone could do. But, like, has she evenĀ seen him do it? Yes. She has. Clearly many, many times.

ā€œThe dancer sways their hips as they step from side to side, while swinging their arms in an exaggerated manner,ā€ wrote Florence, demonstrating a clear immunity to the danceā€™s halo of joy. ā€œIn the second dance step, the dancer takes two steps to each side while opening and closing their legs and their arms in unison. In the final step, the dancerā€™s feet are still and they lower one hand from above their head to the middle of their chest while fluttering their fingers. The combination of these three dance steps is a simple routine that is not registrable as a choreographic work.ā€

Attorneys for Epic are waltzing with this reasoning in a dismissal brief, which adds that if anyone ā€œownsā€ the dance, itā€™s NBC, who own the episode in which it was introduced. As such, things arenā€™t looking too good for Ribeiro, who, we regret to posit, is almost certainly not dancing now.

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