Filming for Ted 2 begins next Monday in Boston and any of you aspiring thespians in Beantown can still get in on the action by attending Saturday’s extras casting session in Allston. However, if you do land a role in the sequel to the wildly successful 2012 film that starred Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Seth MacFralane’s voice, know that there’s a chance that you’re a part of some classic Hollywood thievery. California’s Bengal Mangle Productions is suing MacFarlane, his Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital and Universal Studios over the belief that Ted was simply a ripoff of something called Acting School Academy that featured “Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the plaintiffs claim that Charlie and Ted are practically the same creature, and seeing as nobody on this planet has ever thought of taking a classic toy from our childhoods and making it swear, drink and smoke, it’s safe to say that MacFarlane is doomed.
The suit says the Charlie character, like Ted, lives in a “human, adult world with all human friends. Charlie has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character,” states the lawsuit, which also names Ted producer Media Rights Capital and distributor Universal Studios.
Acting School Academy became a web series that was shown on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, FunnyOrDie.com, Vimeo.com and elsewhere. It got at least 1.2 million views between July 2009 and June 2012, according to the complaint. (Via THR)
The last episode of Acting School Academy was uploaded to YouTube more than four years ago, and the group’s biggest star is Dennis Haskins, AKA Mr. Big Bopper Belding. Based on the camerawork alone, these guys should sue Paul Greengrass next, but this is about Charlie, so let’s see him in action in this video that has 51,304 views in almost five years.
Fast forward to the 1:20 mark to see Charlie’s hilarious antics, and right after that you can watch a guy’s terrible Zoolander impression. Let’s deal with one creative liberty at a time, though. Aside from the 15-second clip of a bear making a tired, old abortion joke, what is this lawsuit actually based on?
The suit alleges that Charlie and Ted have similar physical attributes and similar vulgar traits, and that both live in a similar environment, have human friends and maintain an active social media presence.
Game. Set. Match. MacFarlane is donezo. You know, unless anyone in the court has heard of Fritz the Cat or watched an episode of Unhappily Ever After, among many other examples, in which case this lawsuit just might be considered frivolous.