Seth MacFarlane has been accused of ripping off the vulgar-teddy-bear concept for his hit 2012 film Ted from a California company called Bengal Mangle Productions.
In a complaint filed this week in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Bengal Mangle Productions claimed that Ted was “strikingly similar” to their creation Charlie, a bear who lives in the human world and has a penchant for drinking, smoking, and soliciting prostitutes. The character was created in 2008 for the screenplay Acting School Academy, and subsequently appeared in the webseries Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear, which was posted on YouTube, FunnyorDie, and Blip.TV. The videos in the webseries had approximately sixty thousand views between February 2009 and June 2012, which amounted to less ten thousand views per episode. Here’s an episode from 2010 entitled Charlie Kills A Hooker:
The suit, which also names Universal Pictures and other production companies associated with Ted as defendants, claims that, “Charlie and Ted each have a substantially similar persona, verbal tone, verbal delivery, dialogue, and attitude.” To bolster that argument, the plaintiffs also presented a series of tweets from Charlie the Abusive Bear’s Twitter account and Ted’s Twitter account to show how the two bears “think” alike. Here are their examples of “similar postings”: