Seth MacFarlane Stole ‘Ted,’ Lawsuit Alleges

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”:

Charlie: I like Fox News. THey’ve made s**t talking an art form
Ted: I like Game of Thrones for tits and blood and Fox News for laughs

Charlie: I’m a bear and my nose is at crotch level. What do women expect?
Ted: I don’t mind giving the ladies oral pleasure. I just Febreeze the shit out of my snout after.

Charlie: That Charmin bear is on E in those commercials. “Oh rub the cloth on my face, it feels so good!”
Ted: Snuggles is bi. Found that out the soft way.

Back in 2012, we wrote about the similarities between Ted and Lucas Turnbloom’s comic Imagine This. In the comments of that post, readers pointed out that Ted also resembled the animated short Teddy Huggsbeary, the TV series Unhappily Ever After, a live-action short called Josh and Todd: The Story of a Man and His Puppet, and an online comic strip called Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles.

Below you can read the entire copyright infringement complaint against MacFarlane:


  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    Universal wished it got the Teddy Ruxpin.

  • Caty Ml

    Oh no. A whole-life inspiration flushed thru the toilet.

  • Marie

    It appears that crude teddy bears is a common idea among a certain type of guy.

  • SarahJesness

    Considering he got accused of ripping off some comic, and there are so many similar characters in other works, I’m just going to say that a cutesy character acting crude is something of a cliche at this point. And when you have similar characters, you’re likely going to get similar dialogue and stories.

  • Toonio

    This sounds like opposite world good artists copy and great artists steal.

  • Befuddled Mike

    Love you for mentioning that piece of film. That movie is… wild. I am not totally sure if it fits very well into the “creepy toy” category though, since it started to look more like a mannequine. “Demonic Toys” and its sequels may count too.

  • Befuddled Mike

    God damn, somebody already pitched that? I am serious, I was working on a character like that too.

  • Antonio Valor

    Subversion of type for an adorable character isn’t something new. Vulgar teddies have been around for ages. It’s literally some of the earliest ideas that middle-school budding creative writers have. You can go back to cigar-chomping cherubs and foul-mouthed babies. More than anything it just shows that creatively, Seth swims in the community rec pool. His success has allowed him the ability to get something like Ted green-lighted (but also, Cosmos, so good with the bad).

  • Vince Vazquez

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re not the first ones to come up with the idea to take something that’s usually cute, fluffy and kid-friendly and make it profane…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wPwS9scoBw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afzrKqO8kDA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXD6Zd7P8Oo

    Suits like this are so pointless and… well, stupid. Get a life, Bengal Mangle Productions.

  • Kenshiroh

    Mysterio from Spider-Man also looks like he’s wearing a fish bowl on his head.

  • Whiffert

    Adding another series to the list. “A Bear’s Tail from 2005″ Live action in this case and very crude.

  • Tara

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  • j12345690

    there was also one in earth worm Jim so what’s your point