It’s safe to say that Alfonso Ribeiro will be forever associated with the character of Carlton Banks, the cousin of Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It’s also safe to say that he’ll forever be associated with the Carlton Dance, a signature dance move that became famous in a 1991 episode of the series. With that said, it makes sense that the America’s Funniest Home Videos host would try to register the dance as copyright.
Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist for the California federal court, informed Ribeiro’s attorney that his request to register the dance as a piece of choreography was refused.
“In the second dance step, the dancer takes two steps to each side while opening and closing their legs and their arms in unison,” said Florence in a correspondence. “In the final step, the dancer’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.”
This refusal comes on the heels of news that Ribeiro is suing the game publisher Take-Two Interactive over features that allow players of the basketball game NBA 2K to have their avatars dance the Carlton Dance. Ribeiro is also suing the makers of Fortnite for a similar function.