Last Updated on August 29, 2021
Epic Games has disabled all emotes in the Fortnite Martin Luther King March Through Time event after players used various emotes while interacting with the bizarre in-game exhibit. This marks the second time a black grievance campaign launched by the game has failed in spectacular fashion, after players threw tomatoes at a BLM exhibit last year.
For unspecified reasons, Epic Games decided to place an interactive MLK exhibit in Fortnite, complete with speech footage and racist segregated water fountains. The exhibit was presented with grave seriousness and appeared to be utterly devoid of humor.
Fortnite players, known for their carefree attitude and sense of humor, promptly showed up at the virtual exhibit and began using the game’s hundreds of dance and gesture emotes, including the “floss” and “gangnam style.” The “whip crack” emote was also reportedly used, though National File could not find footage of this prior to publication.
Fortnite promptly put out a statement declaring, “All emotes have been disabled in the March Through Time experience except the 8 that are part of the experience.”
All emotes have been disabled in the March Through Time experience except the 8 that are part of the experience. pic.twitter.com/XQZMX1ABYP
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) August 27, 2021
MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech is currently being celebrated with a interactive online museum in Fortnitepic.twitter.com/baWiQPtnT5
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) August 26, 2021
breaking: confirmed: urgent: you can, in fact, gangnam style at mlk island in fortnite https://t.co/nyM3VZccwG pic.twitter.com/pLfU4qnLcH
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 26, 2021
Nah this MLK fortnite event is comedy 💀 pic.twitter.com/gDeIWOmppv
— hunter (@HunterKnottt) August 26, 2021
— Isaac (@GalaxyPeaBrain) August 26, 2021
Reports began spreading on Twitter that the whip crack emote could not be disabled, as it is part of a DLC crossover with D.C. Comics. It is not clear if the emote is actually disabled.
so the Fortnite whip crack emote can't be disabled in the MLK event because its part of a DC package with Catwoman so just fucking bang up job everyone involved
— Windows98 Tech Support (@Win98Tech) August 29, 2021
Fortnite had preemptively disabled the tomato-throwing emote ahead of the MLK event, after players used it last year during the in-game BLM exhibit in July 2020, as reported by National File:
On July 4, video game studio Epic Games made the bizarre decision to host an in-game Black Lives Matter panel called “We the People,” in which players of the ultra-popular battle royale game Fortnite would be forced to watch CNN commentator Van Jones, rappers “Killer Mike” and “Lil Baby”, and other BLM activists pontificate about left-wing race politics on massive in-game projection screens.
The Fortnite playerbase, which primarily consists of adolescent children, did not display the reaction to the profoundly tone-deaf in-game event that Epic Games and partner Opus Studious were hoping for. Van Jones’ stern visage on the in-game projection screens was unceremoniously pelted with tomatoes from nearby vending machines, which supplied an infinite stock of the digital vegetables. The other lecturers were met with similar treatment over the course of the nearly hour-long event, which was then looped for 24 hours in every single game server.