Orange Shirt Kid, the Twitter sensation who created one of Fortnite's oddest dances, is suing the game's maker for using his moves without permission. Except he totally did give permission by entering a contest and willingly waiving his rights to the dance.
Epic Games held the BoogieDown contest last year, asking fans to submit video of their original dances using social media. The winners had their dances put into Fortnite. By entering, the contest rules stated, they gave up any right to seek payment for their dance. Orange Shirt Kid submitted what he himself called a "cringe" routine.
The internet found him to be more charming than cringey, and there was even a petition for Epic to select his dance. The developer caved, releasing an emote called "Orange Justice" in honor of the orange-clad kid. That might have been the end of his 15 minutes of fame, were it not for what happened next.
Fortnite includes other well-known dances, one of which is the "The Carlton" from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The actor who played Carlton, Alfonso Ribeiro, recently decided to sue Epic Games for using The Carlton without his permission. The attention garnered by the lawsuit prompted other famous figures with dances in Fortnite to take legal action as well.
Word must have reached Orange Shirt Kid's household, because now his mother is launching a lawsuit in his name. Rachel McCumbers is accusing Epic of taking her son's dance "without consent or authorization." She also claims that her son suffered "extreme cyber bullying" as a result of going viral and had to deactivate his Instagram and Youtube accounts due to being targeted. She's asking for "unspecified damages" according to Engadget.
There are two big problems with her claims. For one, she asserts that Epic sold the dance for direct profit. That is incorrect, as the Orange Justice emote was released as a free unlockable. Secondly, she doesn't even mention the BoogieDown contest in her lawsuit. She conveniently ignores the fact that her son willingly entered a contest in which the rules clearly stated that entrants waive their rights. While she might not want to talk about that, Epic definitely will if this case goes to court.
It's certainly easy to hate on Fortnite, but this is a case where someone should have done more research before trying to take the game to task.