Fortnite developers Epic Games are being sued, yet again – this time, for using the famed ‘Running Man’ dance an in-game emote.
Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens, two former basketball players for the University of Maryland, argue that Epic used their dance without permission – and claimed that the company is profiting from African American culture.
“Epic has also consistently sought to exploit African American talent, in particular in Fortnite, by copying their dances and movement,” their suit reads.
Brantley & Nickens v. E… by on Scribd
Brantley and Nickens brought the ‘Running Man’ dance to fame after creating the ‘Running Man Challenge’ in 2016, which later resulted in the two being invited onto the Ellen Show.
However, some dispute arose as to who actually owns rights to the dance, as the challenge was originally incepted by students Kevin Vincent and Jerry Hall, who likewise made an appearance on the Ellen Show.
Brantley himself admitted to gaining inspiration for the challenge from a video, which showed a Jersey native doing the ‘Running Man’ dance – which has also been credited to New Jersey club dances, at large.
This isn’t the first time Epic has been sued for using popular dances as purchasable emotes, either; the company is also facing suits from ‘Fresh Prince’ actor Alfonso Ribeiro, rappers 2 Milly and BlocBoy JB, and even ‘Orange Shirt Kid’ and ‘Backpack Kid,’ to boot.
However, Epic’s response to 2 Milly’s lawsuit could point to their stance on the matter, as their attorney stated that “no one can own a dance step.”