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 Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 31

phoenix

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Birdman’ could be the best film of 2014

In this image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Michael Keaton portrays Riggan in a scene from "Birdman."

You’ve heard the buzz for Michael Keaton's "Birdman." It’s loud and it's merited.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Nike hype video welcomes LeBron back to Cleveland

14-overlay4

The video huddles the whole city as "The King" returns home.

in Entertainment

PHOTOS: 31 adorable pets in Halloween costumes

Bailey Jarrett and her dog Teddy visit a Dallas-area PetSmart store on Oct. 25, 2014, for the company's annual in-store Halloween event. The event took place at all PetSmart locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

This Halloween is going to the dogs... and cats, ferrets, and bunnies.

in Music

Queen, Fleetwood Mac won’t be playing Glastonbury

fleetwoodmac

The two veteran rock acts were strongly rumored to have been booked as the big names for the 2015 festival.