Rapper 2 Milly is pursuing legal action against Fortnite developer Epic Games for their use of his popular ‘Milly Rock’ dance move. The artist is the first to take legal steps against Epic over the use of a dance move, but several other creators have spoken out over the past few months.
The Milly Rock dance move first appeared in 2 Milly’s 2014 song of the same name. The move was later incorporated into Fortnite in the form of the Swipe It emote, which was offered as the reward for the 63rd tier of the Season 5 Battle Pass.
Milly initially voiced his concern back in September, when he told CBS that he learned his dance had been included in the game and was available for purchase, saying that “this can’t go on too long.” In a statement issued by 2 Milly’s lawyers last week, the artist said that “I was never compensated by Epic Games for their use of the ‘Milly Rock’. They never even asked for my permission.”
The artist’s lawyers, New York based Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, said that “This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent.” They also said that another client, Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton, was pursuing Epic for the use of his likeness as Cole Train from Gears of War, and that “Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it.”
2 Milly is not the only artist to complain over Epic’s use of their dance moves. Scrubs actor Donald Faison recently complained about their use of his ‘Poison’ dance, while Chance the Rapper has also commented saying that “Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them.”
Fortnite’s sixth season comes to an end tomorrow, meaning a slew of new emotes will be making their way to the game as part of Season 7. Given the mounting pressure against Epic, it’ll be interesting to see what moves, if any, have made their way into the Battle Pass.