Russell Horning, aka The Backpack Kid, is suing Epic Games over the usage of The Floss emote in Fortnite.
If you weren’t aware, The Floss is a very popular dance move which Horning allegedly invented, and is the 2018 equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.
According to rival gaming news site TMZ, Horning’s mother filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 17-year-old, who seems to not be directly involved with the legal proceedings. The article also links to a Buzzfeed video from earlier this month (yay, the internet!) in which Horning states: “Ever since they put it in the game, the dance has got bigger and bigger ever since, so it’s pretty cool that they put it in.”
He seems to acknowledge and appreciate that Fortnite helped popularise his move, but his family is still suing them for popularising it, which is exactly the kind of juicy low-stakes Hollywood drama I am here for.
Still, this is only the third time this month that a celebrity has sued Epic Games over a Fortnite dance. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro is currently suing them over the Fresh emote, which seems to be based on the move his character Carlton performed on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Before that, rapper 2 Milly sued Epic for using his Milly Rock dance in the form of the Swipe It emote.
If this is the start of a trend, 2019 could see even more dance creators alleging that Fortnite stole their moves. Which emote could be next? My money’s on the golf clap.
Fortnite, however, seems to be unfazed by this (admittedly, mild) turn of events. The new Fortnite Creative mode recently made a splash at The Game Awards, and the fact that a video game is drawing celeb aggro at all is a sign that it’s doing alright at the moment.
Maybe the biggest game of 2018 could be the biggest for a while longer.