Seth MacFarlane sued by company claiming Ted ‘copied web series Charlie The …
Seth MacFarlane was sued in federal court on Tuesday by a production company that claimed his 2012 hit comedy Ted and its foul-mouthed teddy bear copied its online comedy series without permission.
Bengal Mangle Productions alleged that 40-year-old MacFarlane, his production company Fuzzy Door Productions and distributor Universal Pictures infringed on its copyright for the 2009 web series Charlie The Abusive Teddy Bear.
The lawsuit filed in US District Court in Los Angeles claimed Bengal Mangle Productions created a screenplay called Acting School Academy in 2008 that featured a womanising teddy bear named Charlie.
Copyright lawsuit: Seth MacFarlane, shown in November 2012 with teddy bear Ted, was sued on Tuesday for alleged copyright infringement over the 2012 hit comedy Ted starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis
The screenplay became a web series that was available on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, FunnyOrDie.com, Vimeo and other online video outlets, according to court documents cited in an article on Tuesday by The Hollywood Reporter.
The web series registered at least 1.2million views between July 2009 and June 2012, according to the complaint. A spin-off web series called Charlie The Abusive Teddy Bear was released in February 2009 on YouTube.
MacFarlane directed, co-wrote, produced and starred in the 2012 movie Ted that featured a raunchy talking teddy bear.
Foul-mouthed: Charlie The Abusive Teddy Bear, shown in a YouTube video, has a penchant for smoking, drinking and prostitutes
The comedy that featured Mark Wahlberg, 43, and Mila Kunis, 30, was released through Universal and grossed $550 million worldwide as it became the most successful R-rated comedy of the year.
The talking teddy bear character ‘is strikingly similar to the plaintiffs’ Charlie character,’ the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged that Charlie ‘has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character’ similar to the Ted character in the MacFarlane comedy.
Vulgar yet humorous: Charlie is shown in the 2009 YouTube episode Charlie Kills A Hooker
The lawsuit also alleged that Charlie and Ted shared the same physical attributes, have a substantially similar persona and both ‘spend a significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand.’
Both of the teddy bear characters also have human friends and an active presence on social media with similar posting on Twitter, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit was seeking unspecified damages.
MacFarlane has been working on a sequel to the comedy with Amanda Seyfried, 28, replacing Kunis to star opposite Wahlberg. Ted 2 has a release date of June 26, 2015 by Universal Studios.
Hit comedy: The stars of Ted are shown in a still from the 2012 movie that grossed $550 million worldwide and was the most successful R-rated comedy of the year
MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS
MOST READ NEWS
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.