MacFarlane sued for stealing Ted character

SARAH THOMAS
Last updated 09:09 17/07/2014
The Sydney Morning Herald

Seth MacFarlane is being sued by a Californian production company who claim the bear in the movie Ted has an uncanny resemblance to its creation, Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear.

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You would think that a foul-mouthed, bong-smoking, womanising teddy bear might be a one-off, but not so according to a lawsuit filed against Seth MacFarlane over Ted.

A Californian production company says a bear named Charlie, who appeared in a web series Acting School Academy and later Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear, has an uncanny resemblance to MacFarlane's Ted which appeared in the 2012 hit comedy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suit claims there are similarities in that Charlie 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".

The case, filed on Tuesday, names MacFarlane, his production company Fuzzy Door Productions and Universal Studios in the dispute over copyright infringement.  

The company launching the claim, Bengal Mangle Productions, says Acting School Academy was a web series screened through YouTube.com, Facebook.com, iTunes, FunnyorDie.com, Vimeo.com, Metacafe.com, Koldcast.tv, and Blip.tv between 2009 and 2010.

Spot the difference ... <i>Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear</i> is suing Seth MacFarlane over <i>Ted</i>.

Spot the difference ... Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear is suing Seth MacFarlane over Ted.

After that, Charlie got his own show, Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear, which the suit says "features Charlie's original character traits, including that Charlie has all human friends, hates vegetables, has anger-management problems, is a washed-up child star, has a penchant for drinking alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes, and is often violent, both physically and verbally."

And there's more: while both "displayed consistent, widely identifiable traits that make this vulgar teddy bear especially distinctive", their living arrangements are similar too.

"Both Charlie and Ted reside in a substantially similar environment, including that both Charlie and Ted spend a significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand."


Exactly why the bid for damages is being launched two years after the movie's release is open to question, but it's possibly no coincidence that production on Ted 2 gets under way this month.Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg as the best friend and room-mate to the offensive bear, remains the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, pulling in $550 million worldwide.

The sequel starts filming in Boston on July 21, with a recent appeal for extras to turn up for a casting call on July 26. 

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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