Former Donkey Kong Champ Has Lawsuit Against Cartoon Network Tossed Out
"When GBF loses his title, the character literally explodes, unlike Plaintiff."
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Former Donkey Kong world record-holder Billy Mitchell's lawsuit against Cartoon Network, in which he claimed a character from Regular Show stole his likeness, has been tossed out.
The Associated Press has the details. The character in question is Garrett Bobby Ferguson, who is depicted in the show as a floating, bearded head who cheats to win at arcade games. A New Jersey Federal District Judge ruled that Regular Show is protected by the First Amendment and that the character's traits were intentionally exaggerated to make him look "cartoonishly evil."
Cartoon Network's legal team argued that Garrett Bobby Ferguson is a "transformative" depiction of Mitchell, thus explaining why it would be protected under the First Amendment. It's pretty clear that Garrett Bobby Ferguson is based on Mitchell, but Judge Anne Thompson pointed out some key differences.
"The television character does not match the plaintiff in appearance: GBF appears as a non-human creature, a giant floating head with no body from outer space, while Plaintiff is a human being," Thompson wrote in her decision. "And when GBF loses his title, the character literally explodes, unlike Plaintiff."
Check out the clip above, from the Regular Show season two episode "High Score." It originally aired in 2011.
Mitchell was at one time the world record-holder for Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and Ms. Pac-Man. He was featured extensively in the 2007 movie King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. He also runs his own hot sauce company called Rickey's World Famous Sauces.