Seth MacFarlane stole vulgar-bear character used in ‘Ted,’ suit says

"Ted" was a blockbuster hit starring Mark Wahlberg.
(Universal Pictures)

The creators of a comedy Web series featuring a vulgar, hard-drinking teddy bear are suing co-writer and director Seth MacFarlane, the production company and the studio among others involved in the 2012 blockbuster movie “Ted” for creating an “unlawful copy” of their character.

The foul-mouthed teddy bear character featured in an online web series “Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear” beginning in 2009 has a “penchant for drinking, smoking, prostitutes, and is a generally vulgar yet humorous character,” according to a suit filed Tuesday by Bengal Mangle Productions in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

MacFarlane’s hit R-rated comedy “Ted” also features at its center a sentient teddy bear who drinks, abuses drugs and womanizes.

“Charlie and Ted have displayed consistent, widely identifiable traits that make this vulgar teddy bear especially distinctive,” the suit claims. “Charlie and Ted each have a substantially similar persona, verbal tone, verbal delivery, dialogue and attitude.”


A spokesman for Universal Pictures, the studio that released the film, would not comment on the suit.

The suit claims that the two characters are similar enough to constitute a violation of Bengal Mangle Productions’ copyright.

“Both Charlie and Ted reside in a substantially similar environment, including that both Charlie and Ted spend a significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand,” the suit says.

“Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear” is still available online on YouTube and Funny or Die. Most of the videos have received only a few thousand views so far; some of them are nearing 10,000 views.


“Ted” grossed $549 million worldwide and a sequel is set for a 2015 release. Seth MacFarlane said Wednesday on Twitter that he’s been hard at work on it.

The Times has reached out to MacFarlane’s representative, and will update this post when it hears back.

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