Bernice King Responds to Fortnite Using MLK Speech in Event
On August 26th, the Fortnite MLK “March Through Time” event was announced. It is a way to celebrate the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. Having knowledge of the Civil Rights movement is without a doubt important. This event brings Fortnite players back to the march to Washington, DC, and teaches people about the work and beliefs of MLK in the Fortnite event. The event was met with pretty mixed expectations overall. Some were shocked by it, and others made jokes about MLK flossing in Fortnite. Now we have seen a statement by MLK’s daughter on the Fortnite event on Twitter.
Berenice King Had No Say-So In This Instance:
On a positive note, there is no MLK skin in the game. If that would happen, it would be seen as an incredibly manipulative and greedy decision. So at least we aren’t seeing people running around in an MLK skin, popping shots at other players. Typically, Fortnite has fictional characters added to the game, like superheroes. Many have said this was a peculiar decision, bringing MLK into a Fortnite event, even if it is a good, important message.
Via Twitter, both The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and Berenice King (MLK’s daughter) both spoke up on the matter. It sounds like they were distancing themselves from the Fortnite event. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center had this to say:
“The King Center does not license Dr. King’s intellectual property, and, therefore, was not involved in any decisions concerning the endeavor with TIME Inc and PlayStation/Fortnite. These licensing decisions are made by Intellectual Properties Management (IPM).”
Berenice King’s statement was a brief one. In a recent Tweet, she said, “Decisions around licensing my father’s intellectual property are outside of my personal purview.” Video games are a great way to teach important life lessons and to remind us of historical moments. That’s not what we’re questioning here. It’s an excellent thing to bring to the spotlight because MLK’s “I have a dream” speech is incredibly important. The problem many see with the MLK event in Fortnite is that it’s a game primarily about shooting other players until you’re the last man standing. That’s completely contradictory to MLK’s message.
Hopefully, the event doesn’t receive too much backlash. Will this lead to other historic, influential moments coming to Fortnite in the future? Only time will tell.