The "Ted" creator has come under fire over the originality (or lack thereof) of his foul-mouthed character.
Seth Macfarlane – frat guy favorite and walking controversy generator – is now involved in an intellectual property lawsuit over his 2012 hit, Ted. A Cali-based production company, called Bengal Mangle Productionsis suing MacFarlane, claiming that its 2008 screenplay Acting School Academy featured a raunchy teddy named Charlie. Like Ted, 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 lawsuit states. It also claims that the two fictional characters reside and similar environments (both spend substantial amounts of time on a living room sofa) and behave in a similar manner, including their speech and delivery. The suit was filed this past Tuesday and names producer and distributor Universal Studios and MacFarlane’s own production company Fuzzy Door Productions, along with MacFarlane himself. The suit alleges copyright infringement and seeks unspecified damages.
The lawsuit is unlikely to affect the Ted 2 project in any significant way.
Acting School Academy was turned into a moderately successful web series. According to TV Guide, it received around 1,2 million views between 2009 and 2012 – a good total for a web series. In contrast, Ted went on to become the highest grossing R-rated comedy of 2012 and grossed almost $550 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. A sequel is currently in the works. The lawsuit is unlikely to have any effect on the development and production of Ted 2.