It appears that Ted might not be the only foul-mouthed teddy bear on the planet.
In a new lawsuit, Bengal Mangle Productions claims that Seth MacFarlane stole the idea behind Ted. The Hollywood Reporter got a copy of the complaint, which also names Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital, and Universal Studios, and says the character of Ted was taken from a screenplay titled Acting School Academy, which came out in 2008 and featured another foul-mouthed teddy bear named Charlie. In the screenplay, Charlie lives in an adult world with his human friends and “has a penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes.”
Acting School Academy was turned into a web series featured on YouTube, iTunes, and more around 2009-2010. Also in 2009, the Charlie character got his own spinoff, another YouTube web series titled Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear. And considering that MacFarlane’s Ted didn’t hit theaters until 2012, the lawsuit claims, “Defendants’ Ted character is strikingly similar to Plaintiff’s Charlie character. Defendants had access to Charlie because Acting School Academy was available and widely disseminated on websites including YouTube.com, Facebook.com, iTunes, FunnyorDie.com, Vimeo.com, Metacafe.com, Koldcast.tv, and Blip.tv from on or around July 31, 2009 to November 30, 2010.”
The complaint even goes on to compare Charlie and Ted’s tweets to show the similarities between the characters. For example, one of Charlie’s tweets reads: “You ever wonder how I even talk? I mean is my brain made of cotton? I am so high right now!” The comparable Ted tweet reads: “I got so stoned last night that that [sic] I accidentally smoked some of my own stuffing. Not as bad as you’d think.”
Seth MacFarlane did not immediately respond to request for comment. It’s unknown if this will affect MacFarlane’s Ted 2, which was scheduled for a 2015 release.