“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane denies that his company stole the idea for the R-rated talking teddy bear in the hit movie “Ted,” according to court papers obtained today.
In his answer to a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Bengal Mangle Productions in July, MacFarlane denies that the Ted character is “strikingly or substantially similar” to a foul-mouthed teddy bear named Charlie featured in a 2008 screenplay called “Acting School Academy.”
The complaint contends that the Charlie character exists — like Ted — 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.”
The movie “Ted” was directed, co-written and produced by MacFarlane, who also voiced the teddy bar character in the comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, which grossed $550 million worldwide. A sequel, co-starring Morgan Freeman, is expected to be released next year.
“Acting School Academy” became a web series that was shown on YouTube, Facebook, iTunes and elsewhere, generating over a million views between July 2009 and June 2012, according to the complaint.
In addition to MacFarlane, the suit names MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions as a defendant. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages.
— City News Service