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MLK Fortnite tribute sparks confusion, outrage

The interactive game takes users through some of Dr. King’s pivotal moments, including his “I Have a Dream” speech

Black Twitter is having a fit over Fortnite’s in-game tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. TIME and Fortnite teamed up for the tribute to the beloved civil rights leader and even secured the support of Dr. King’s estate and family. 

According to The Wrap, the game, named “March Through Time,” will bring players to D.C. 63, a virtually reimagined version of Washington, D.C. There, they will travel to the Lincoln Memorial and the United States National Mall, the birthplace of Dr. King’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. 

The experience is inspired by TIME’s popular exhibit, “The March.” The exhibit was launched in Chicago last year.

The sun rises at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination April 4, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“TIME Studios’ mission is to embrace innovative new formats to tell the world’s most impactful stories. We are thrilled to introduce our first-ever gaming experience and expand our groundbreaking The March project, which started as an immersive exhibit, into the global, educational event March Through Time in Fortnite Creative,” Ian Orefice, president of TIME Studios said in a recent statement.

“Epic Games and Fortnite’s community creators have been instrumental in bringing this powerful content to millions of players, and we are excited to enable the next generation to explore Dr. King’s historic impact in a new way.”

Eric D. Tidwell, Esq., the managing director and general counsel of the King Estate, said they are on board and “excited” to work with TIME in Dr. King’s honor. 

But social media users are in a frenzy and making their voices heard. Some are puzzled by the idea overall, others feel it’s an inappropriate medium for Dr. King’s legacy, and many are angry about the game’s artwork.

“Kick back and relax this evening, knowing that no matter how badly you screwed up at work today, you didn’t ‘we should put Martin Luther King Jr in Fortnite’ screw up,” one user wrote.

They thought putting MLK in Fortnite was the right move? pic.twitter.com/T35oqbNGZa

— Jaytaro (@jclue15) August 26, 2021

“Imagine fighting for your own life for equality, getting assassinated, and then now your legacy will be a bunch of kids calling you “That guy from Fortnite” – Disrespectful if you ask me,” another chimed in.

Imagine fighting for your own life for equality, getting assassinated, and then now your legacy will be a bunch of kids calling you “That guy from Fortnite”

Disrespectful if you ask me. https://t.co/Dlista8A36

— RKzero10 🆖 – COMMISSIONS CLOSED (@RKzero10) August 26, 2021

Others were in support, saying it’s a great way for gaming enthusiasts, specifically children, to learn about Dr. King’s impact.

“The Dr. King in Fortnite stuff seemed weird to me when I saw the news earlier today, but my son just opened the game and saw something that represented his experience in life and immediately called me on his cell phone from the basement to tell me how excited he was to see it,” one Twitter user wrote.

The Dr. King in Fortnite stuff seemed weird to me when I saw the news earlier today, but my son just opened the game and saw something that represented his experience in life and immediately called me on his cell phone from the basement to tell me how excited he was to see it.

— BLACK CAT (@flairchops) August 26, 2021

“I absolutely love Time’s Martin Luther King Jr. event in Fortnite. We need more of this. This is important. Also, don’t shun me for Fortniting,” wrote another.

I absolutely love Time’s Martin Luther King Jr. event in Fortnite. We need more of this. This is important. Also, don’t shun me for Fortniting. pic.twitter.com/W0iYtlJxYb

— Kat Bourne (@tweetsbyakat) August 26, 2021

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