Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has been sued by rapper 2 Milly (Terrence Ferguson) over its “Swipe It” dance emote. The in-game dance, which is no longer available for sale but still usable by players who bought it, features a dance move that became popular years ago with the release of “Milly Rock.”
The lawsuit accuses Epic of “misappropriation” of the dance, claiming that it has “unfairly profited from exploiting Ferguson’s protected creative expression and likeness.” The dance move, which is called Milly Rock by Ferguson, was offered for sale at around $5 by Epic as the “Swipe It” emote in battle royale game Fortnite.
When purchased, Fortnite players can have their game characters perform the same dance. “Although identical to the dance created, popularized, and demonstrated by Ferguson, Epic did not credit Ferguson nor seek his consent to use, display, reproduce, sell, or create a derivative work based upon Ferguson’s Milly Rock dance or likeness,” the lawsuit goes on to claim.
The legal complaint points toward other Fortnite dance emotes based on popular dances, such as the “Ride the Pony” emote which appears to be a segment from 2012’s hit “Gangnam Style,” “Tidy” linked to “Drop it Like It’s Hot,” and “Fresh” based on a dance popularized by the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The lawsuit seeks to prevent Epic Games from selling the emote again, as well as damages and legal costs. Ferguson isn’t the first artist to take offense with Epic’s dance emotes. In the past, Scrubs actor Donald Faison expressed a bit of disapproval over Fortnite‘s “Dance Moves” emote, which is based on a dance he performed in the TV show.