The Fortnite Dance Is Cultural Appropriation

 

The moves are unmistakable, 2 Milly says. Whoever he is. The dancing avatar swings her left arm, then her right, spins her fists in a circular motion, then twists her hips and does it all again. In Fortnite, the massively popular battle-royal video game, the “dance emote” is not called the “Milly Rock,” though. Instead, the move is called “Swipe It,” a victory dance that players could unlock after purchasing an add-on package for 950 “V-bucks,” or about $9.50. 

Now, 2 Milly is suing over it.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles, accuses Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, not only of stealing 2 Milly’s dance moves and his likeness without permission but also exploiting various African American artists' talent without credit. The accusation that Fortnite has been appropriating black music and dance culture for financial gain has been simmering for months, sparking debate over whether Fortnite has unfairly rebranded the popular dances as “#fortnitedances” while the creators don’t share any of the profits.


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