If a grizzly bear roars an expletive in the middle of the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does that give the bear a legitimate reason to sue Seth MacFarlane for stealing the idea of a foul-mouthed bear and making it into the wildly popular Ted franchise?
Well, we’ll never know about the grizzly, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, a California production company is indeed suing MacFarlane and companies for allegedly stealing the idea for Ted. The plaintiff, Bengal Mangle Productions, claims their character Charlie—created for a screenplay called Acting School Academy—bears (see what we did there?) similar characteristics to the title character in MacFarlane’s film.
Charlie, like Ted, lives in the “human, adult world with all human friends. Charlie has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character,” according to the complaint. Charlie’s screenplay and subsequent appearances on various websites like FunnyOrDie.com took place prior to the debut of Ted in 2012. The lawsuit includes photos of the two bears, and even lists similar tweets sent out from the bears’ Twitter accounts. One relatively tame example:
Ted: I take my music like my dumps: seated.
Charlie: My best ideas are like my best sh*ts, they flow out of me on the toilet after a cup of coffee.
There are far more vulgar tweets listed—see the full complaint shared online by THR.
The suit formally alleges copyright infringement and names MacFarlane, Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital II, Thunderbuddies, and Universal as defendants.
While no response from MacFarlane has been released—he just got started with production on a sequel, Ted 2—we couldn’t help but wonder: what do other notable bears in the business think about the lawsuit?
Here are a few imaginary responses:
• • •
“As long as they wipe their a-holes afterward, we couldn’t be less concerned.”
“I’ll side with whoever saves me from this freaking washing machine. The spin cycle is killing me.”
“I asked Christopher Robin, who said, ‘You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.’ … Eeyore suggested that everybody just give up on everything.”
“They are both, like me, smarter than the av-er-age bear. Now where’s Boo Boo? We’re late for our pic-a-nic!”
“Brother Bear and Sister Bear disagree all the time. Charlie and Ted will work it out.”
“No bear is an iceberg.”
“I bet those stupid Coke bears fed you that iceberg line again.”
“Only you can prevent these tasteless womanizing characters from representing all bears in the business.”
Look for the boring legalese
The simple boring legalese
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the boring legalese
Our justice system’s recipes
To present copyright issues in court.
“Wait, you mean I’m not the only movie bear whose company got sued?”
“Read my markings, I don’t give a f—k. No one even plays with me anymore.”
“I bought [my costume] for Halloween when the movie Ted came out.” [Actual quote, out of context.]
“Argo f—k yourself! … Yo Marky Mark, can I borrow your lawyer?”
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2014/07/16/seth-macfarlane-sued-over-ted-bears-respond/
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