Following legal action taken against Epic Games and 2K Games, Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios have removed the "The Carlton" and "The Floss" dance emotes from Forza Horizon 4.
Whilst there are no reports of pending legal action against Playground or Turn 10, the studios took the decision to quietly remove the dances by way of yesterday’s Series 5 update.
For several months now, the artists behind some of Fortnite’s most iconic moves have been calling on developer Epic to compensate them or "put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes". Rapper 2 Milly recently filed a suit against Epic Games for replicating and selling his dance moves in Fortnite, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro shortly filed a similar complaint against both Epic and 2K Games for using the dance he made famous without consent.
Instagram personality "Backpack Kid" – creator of The Floss – is also thought to be suing along with the parent of "Orange Shirt Kid", who submitted his "Orange Justice" dance in Epic Games’ BoogieDown contest. Whilst it did not win the competition, fan demand saw its eventual inclusion and now the family is seeking compensation (thanks, Variety).
Ribeiro is purportedly in the process of trying to copyright the dance but currently, there’s no precedent case law a copyrighting choreography, and patents for individual dance moves cannot be made to the US Copyright Office due to creative choreographic expression.
"This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent," said lawyer David Hecht when taking action on behalf of 2 Milly. "Our client Lenwood ‘Skip’ Hamilton is pursuing similar claims against Epic for use of his likeness in the popular ‘Cole Train’ character in the Gears of Wars video game franchise. Epic cannot be allowed to continue to take what does not belong to it."