Booker T is taking video game publisher Activision to task over their alleged use of his likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
The 53-year-old, one of wrestling's most decorated stars, has filed a complaint against the above-named company for "stealing" his G.I Bro comic book character and handing the visual concept to David "Prophet" Wilks.
Booker made his wrestling debut for Western Wrestling Alliance as G.I Bro in the early 90s. The character also resurfaced during his time with WCW.
However, his lawsuit isn't based on his wrestling personas and stems from the depiction as G.I Bro in his old comic book G.I Bro and the Dragon of Death. The complaint describes his character as a retired special ops vet who, with the help of old military alliances, fights an old enemy he believed he had finished off years ago. Prophet, on the other hand, is referred to as a cybernetically enhanced soldier who replaces 90 percent of his body parts with mechanical upgrades.
The two characters are nothing alike. But according to the imagery used in the suit - a photo of G.I Bro next to a promotional Black Ops 4 image of Prophet - the visual similarities are clear.
A section of the complaint reads: "This is an action for copyright infringement. Booker T. created two comic books based on his character “G. I. Bro.” G.I Bro is a special operations action hero.
"Defendants published a series of multiplayer, first-person shooter games under the general title “Call of Duty.” In 2018, Defendants released Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a “prequel” to the prior videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops III . In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, one of the “specialist” characters was David “Prophet” Wilkes, who had replaced 90% of his body with “cybernetics” to enhance his fighting ability.
"For the “prequel,” Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Defendants chose to depict “Prophet” as he was before he remade himself.
"They could have drawn him any way they wanted. But they chose to steal Booker T.’s “G. I. Bro.”
What This Means
Video games have come under fire from celebrities lately for similar infringements. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro and Backpack Kid have both sued Epic Games for their use of the "Carlton dance" and the "floss" in popular game Fortnite, while Lindsay Lohan famously attempted a suit against Rockstar Games for a character she claimed was based on her in Grand Theft Auto.
As it pertains to Booker, he certainly has a case as the photo does resemble his G.I Bro alter ego from the past. Let's see how this plays out.