Seth MacFarlane has a bear of a lawsuit on his hands.
The “Family Guy” honcho has been hit with a lawsuit by a production company that claims his 2012 big-screen comedy “Ted” was based on a web series.
In the suit, filed in U.S. district court in central California on Tuesday, Bengal Mangle Productions says that it created a screenplay, “Acting School Academy” in 2008 that featured a character named Charlie, “a teddy bear who 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 screenplay was eventually turned into a web series that ran on YouTube, Facebook and other outlets, the suit says, drawing about 1.2 million viewers. (The complaint also says that “Acting School Academy” was spun off into a separate web series, “Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear.”)
The lawsuit claims that the title character of “Ted” is so similar to Charlie as to constitute copyright infringement.
“Charlie and Ted possess the same physical attributes, including the general look and feel of each character,” the lawsuit reads.
The suit goes so far as to point out online posts from both characters that expounded on similar topics, such as Lindsay Lohan, defecation and Winnie the Pooh.
A spokeswoman for MacFarlane has not yet responded to TheWrap‘s request for comment.
MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Captial and Universal Pictures are also among the defendants named in the suit.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.