MacFarlane is sued for stealing idea for 'Ted'
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[July 17, 2014]
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
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.
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MacFarlane's agent could not immediately be reached on Wednesday for
comment. Universal did not immediately respond to requests for
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
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)
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