Back in April, Ana Coto gave the world some much-needed levity with a viral TikTok rollerskating dance to “Jenny from the Block” that allegedly contributed to a roller skate shortage online. Last week, Fortnite was accused of lifting her dance.
Coto posted a side-by-side of her dance and Fortnite's new Freewheelin' dance emote, which is not out yet but leaked online last week. There are certainly similarities, from the movements to the outfit. "Flattered but no dance credit?" Coto wrote.
As the Verge points out, just last month Fortnite officially announced an emote collaboration with Jalaiah Harmon, the Atlanta teen who created the viral Renegade TikTok dance, and announced (and credited) the winner of an official TikTok dance contest. This comes after several high-profile lawsuits against developer Epic Games from dance creators, which opened up bigger conversations about copyright and appropriation.
It seems like Epic was attempting to be more transparent, but, as noted on Twitter, it's "not clear" how the developer creates emotes that are based on dances. The Freewheelin' emote leak was posted by YouTuber Kingzi Kingz, an "official Fortnite Content Creator," according to their bio.
Comments on the YouTube clip claim the Freewheelin' emote won't be released for a bit. That means Epic could potentially work with Coto. But she tells the Daily Dot the company has not "reached out to me or my legal rep" and she is still "Unclear about how they plan on proceeding."
We reached out to Epic Games for comment.
H/T The Verge