A California production company has sued Seth MacFarlane for alleged copyright infringement, claiming that the “Ted” creator stole the idea for the foul-mouthed talking teddy bear.
Bengal Mangle Productions filed the lawsuit in a Los Angeles state court on Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The firm claims that MacFarlane took the idea for Ted from a character in the 2008 screenplay “Acting School Academy,” which featured a vulgar, philandering teddy bear named Charlie.
The suit says that Charlie lives in a “human, adult world with all human friends” and also states that “Charlie has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character.”
“Ted” producer Media Rights Capital and distributor Universal Studios were also named in the suit, as we as MacFarlane’s company Fuzzy Door Productions.
“Acting School Academy” went on to become a web series that was shown on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Vimeo, and FunnyOrDie.com, garnering at least 1.2 million views between July 2009 and June 2012.
You can check out Charlie in the clip embedded below.
“Ted” grossed over $550 million worldwide and was the highest-growing R-rated comedy of 2012. The highly-anticipated sequel is already gearing up for filming in Boston this summer.
MacFarlane and Universal have yet to make a statement over the lawsuit.Matt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @MattchidaMMA.