Epic Games have disabled emotes for the March Through Time Dr. Martin Luther King Fortnite event, except for ones where players wield a whip.
As previously reported, the TIME Studios collaboration saw players walk around a reimagined version of Washington, DC; with Dr. King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech playing. Players also learned of the history of racial segregation in the US.
Nonetheless, some felt the event was a poor fit for Fortnite; as players being able to dance as characters from various cartoons and games undermined the serious nature of the event. As such, Epic Games announced on August 27th they would disable emotes; baring those players unlock through the event.
However; this seemingly did not apply to special emotes purchased in bundles in crossover events. This includes the DC Comics cross over, and Whipcrack emote from Catwoman- where players summon a whip out of thin air and strike the ground.
There are several reports of this emote being used around the March Through Time event [1, 2, 3], with the obvious connotations with slavery. The following video may have been taken after the emote ban came into effect.
_/¯ ¯_ pic.twitter.com/ma7hYoAm1s
— Not Scott (@RoscoesPisssuit) August 28, 2021
Some have theorized the reason for this emote to persist may be because of contracts with DC Comics. They may have asked that their costumes and emotes be permitted and used in all events, and in turn Epic Games forgot that one of them included a whip.
There have been no reports focused on the other bundle-exclusive emotes being used, but this may be due to players not realizing the emotes had been disabled, or assuming videos of such shared on social media had been taken before they were disabled.
Even so, there are reports of exploits being used to use any emote regardless, and players using sprays earned from the event in inflammatory ways in normal Fortnite play.
So turns out you can bypass the locked emote wheels by using the "Locker emote (1-6)" button. Here I am demonstrating using dance off and dynamic shuffle when they're not in the event wheel.
This can be used for any emote that is not built in. pic.twitter.com/6Vw1qlAs7z
— ً (@BlameGarnet) August 27, 2021
Things outside the MLK thing is just as crazy. pic.twitter.com/olrrS5S1fq
— MrPwner911 (@MrPwner911_) August 29, 2021
Epic Games have seemingly failed to avoid the mistakes they made last time they held a sensitive event. They had previously included a We The People presentation discussing racial discrimination in Fortnite, only for players to pelt the screen with tomatoes.