‘Backpack Kid’ Is the Latest Celebrity to Sue Epic Games for Using His Dance Moves in Fortnite
Creators of the popular video game Fortnite are facing yet another lawsuit. Anita Redd, the mother of 16-year-old Russell Horning, also known as “Backpack Kid,” filed one against Epic Games on her son’s behalf for ripping off his “Floss” dance move, the Daily Beast reported. Horning became famous for performing the dance with Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live last year.
The Fortnite video game uses the “Floss” dance after a win, but Horning accused the company of including the dance move without his permission and without compensating him. Horning is the third person to file a lawsuit against Epic Games for using his dance moves.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred as Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air filed a lawsuit against the company on Monday for using his character’s popular dance move, also without permission; and hip-hop artist 2 Milly filed a lawsuit for the same reason earlier this month.
Ribeiro and Backpack Kid both filed additional complaints with the law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, LLP against Take Two Interactive, the creators of the NBA 2K game series, also for using their dance moves without permission or compensation.
Horning is presently in the process of copyrighting his dance move, as are Ribeiro and 2 Milly, Newsweek reported. Ribeiro is also requesting a restraining order against Epic Games to ban them from using and selling the “Fresh” emote in the Fortnite game. “Epic uses The Dance, and other dances, to create the false impression that Epic started these dances and crazes or that the performer who created them is endorsing the game,” the lawsuit said.
“It is widely recognized that Mr. Ribeiro’s likeness and intellectual property have been misappropriated by Epic Games in the most popular video game currently in the world, Fortnite,” David L. Hecht, of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP said in a statement to Fortune. The law firm added that it looks forward “to a fair and reasonable resolution of the above on behalf of our client.” Ribeiro did not provide a personal comment on the matter.
Epic Games told Fortune it does not comment on ongoing litigation. Fortune has also reached out to Take Two Interactive for comment, but did not receive an immediate reply.