×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rapper 2 Milly Is Suing Epic Games Over ‘Fortnite’ Dance Emote

Brooklyn rapper 2 Milly is suing Epic Games over its alleged misappropriation, use, and sale of his “Milly Rock” dance in its popular battle royale game “Fortnite.” The lawsuit was filed in a California district court on Wednesday.

The Milly Rock was featured in a 2014 music video of the same name. Epic added a similar dance emote called “Swipe It” during “Fortnite’s” Season 5. You can see both in the videos below.


“This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent. Our client Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton is pursuing similar claims against Epic for use of his likeness in the popular ‘Cole Train’ character in the ‘Gears of War’ video game franchise,” said David L. Hecht, partner at Pierce Bainbridge. “Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it.”

“Fortnite” currently has over 200 million registered players and makes millions of dollars off of downloadable content like character skins and dance emotes. But, 2 Milly said he was never compensated for the use of his Milly Rock dance. “They never even asked for my permission,” he said. “I am thrilled to have David Hecht and his team at Pierce Bainbridge representing me to help right this wrong.”

2 Milly is not the first person to accuse Epic of stealing their moves. “Scrubs” actor Donald Faison has expressed some sour grapes in the past over the developer’s use of a dance he created for Bell Biv DeVoe’s song “Poison.” “Dear ‘Fortnite’ … I’m flattered?” he said on Twitter in April. “Though part of me thinks I should talk to a lawyer…”

Chance The Rapper has also criticized Epic on Twitter, saying, “‘Fortnite’ should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these emotes being shared with the artists that made them.”

Epic Games is not the first developer to use the Milly Rock. It showed up in 2K Sports’ basketball sim “NBA 2K18,” according to Insider (which has a good breakdown on Epic’s history of dance appropriation and the 2 Milly situation here). Insider spoke to an intellectual property lawyer, who said copyright law doesn’t protect individual dance steps or simple routines, but it does protect what’s called “choreographic work.” The U.S. Copyright Office views individual steps the same way it would individual colors or words, she said.

Variety contacted Epic Games about the lawsuit, but it declined to comment.

More Gaming

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

  • Fortnite Chapter 2

    'Fortnite' Emerges From Black Hole With All-New Island in Chapter 2

    After its previous world was sucked into a black hole, “Fortnite” is back — with an all-new island featuring a map with 13 different locations. The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. [...]

  • Fortnite-Season-X-Out-of-Time

    'Fortnite' Goes Dark: A Masterful Marketing Stroke by Epic Games

    On Sunday, “Fortnite” — the most popular game on Earth right now — without warning, imploded into darkness. At around 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a meteor in Season 10 of “Fortnite” that had been biding its time set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that sucked up everything on the the island and eventually [...]

  • Hearthstone video game

    Blizzard Reinstates Hong Kong Gamer's Prize but Reaffirms Censure of His Speech

    Major U.S. gaming firm Blizzard Entertainment has reduced its punishment for a professional gamer who shouted a slogan in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. But the company doubled down on its verdict about the inappropriateness of his conduct. In a Chinese language-only message on its official social media, Blizzard stated that it would “resolutely [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

  • Mixer Co-Founders Leave Microsoft's Twitch Competitor

    Microsoft’s Mixer Streaming Service Loses Its Two Co-Founders

    Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has lots its two co-founders: Both Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, who co-founded the startup that eventually became Mixer in 2011, have both left the company over the past 2 weeks. The departure comes just a few weeks after Mixer poached famed video game streamer Ninja from Amazon’s Twitch. Salsamendi [...]

  • Trump-Twitch-channel

    Donald Trump Is Now on Amazon's Twitch Streaming Service

    Donald Trump has joined Twitch, the game-focused live-streaming service, apparently in an effort to widen his unfiltered 2020 reelection messaging as the embattled U.S. president faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry. Trump’s first Twitch broadcast was from his campaign rally Thursday in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Somali [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content