News

Seth MacFarlane sued for ‘Ted’

Seth MacFarlane sued for ‘Ted’

SETH MacFARLANE:In a complaint filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Bengal Mangle Productions LLC said Ted is "strikingly similar" to its own teddy bear Charlie, who was created in 2008 for the screenplay "Acting School Academy" and has appeared on websites such as YouTube and FunnyorDie. Photo: Reuters

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Producer-director Seth MacFarlane has been sued by a California production company for allegedly stealing the idea for a foul-mouthed talking bear with a penchant for drinking, drugs and prostitutes for his 2012 hit movie “Ted.”

In a complaint filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Bengal Mangle Productions LLC said Ted is “strikingly similar” to its own teddy bear Charlie, who was created in 2008 for the screenplay “Acting School Academy” and has appeared on websites such as YouTube and FunnyorDie.

Bengal Mangle said the bears physically resemble each other, have similar personas and verbal deliveries, have human friends, spend much time on the living room couch with a beer or cigarette in hand, and have active social media presences on Facebook and Twitter with similar, often profane postings.

It also said “Acting School Academy” got about 1.2 million online views between July 2009 and June 2012.

“Defendants never sought nor obtained plaintiff’s permission to use the Charlie character and continue to infringe the Charlie character,” the complaint said.

Bengal Mangle is seeking to recoup profit stemming from the alleged copyright infringement, and halt further infringement.

Among the other defendants are MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions Inc and Comcast Corp’s Universal Studios, which released the movie.

MacFarlane’s agent could not immediately be reached on Wednesday for comment. Universal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MacFarlane directed, co-wrote and co-produced “Ted,” and provided the bear’s voice. The movie starred Mark Wahlberg.

Released in June 2012, “Ted” grossed about $550 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing R-rated comedy. A sequel is planned for next year.

MacFarlane also created the “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show” animated television series and hosted the 2013 Academy Awards.

The case is Bengal Mangle Productions LLC v. MacFarlane et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 14-05498.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Trott)

Recent News

5 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: This slow-mo capture of a lightning strike is like fire falling from the sky

15-overlay-15

This wicked weather was recorded at 7000 frames per second. Mother Nature is truly breathtaking.

6 hours ago in Music, Viral Videos

Blake Shelton finally tries sushi

20-overlay-11

Jimmy Fallon takes "The Voice" judge out for a little dinner and a chance to broaden his horizons.

8 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is a totally pointless, boring sequel

17-overlay-3

Not even Johnny Depp - reliable as ever inside a fright wig and exaggerated make up - can save this sequel.

11 hours ago in Entertainment

Stage is set for toughest National Spelling Bee ever

11-overlay-15

The final day of the Scripps National Spelling Bee could feature the most difficult words ever used in the competition.

12 hours ago in Music

Chris Cornell wins mastertapes battle

chriscornell218113539983

The rocker has won the battle for the mastertapes to his Temple of the Dog recordings just in time for the 25th anniversary of the supergroup venture.