Martin Luther King’s daughter, Bernice King, responded to Fortnite adding her father’s iconic “I have a Dream” speech and other content to the game.
On August 26, Fortnite announced the March Through Time event, celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR.
“March Through Time will teleport players nearly 60 years in the past to a re-imagined Washington, DC called D.C. 63. Developed by members of the Fortnite Creative community, this fully immersive experience will allow players to witness the Civil Rights teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King,” the event description reads.
“The Experience will also feature museum-inspired points of interest and quests you can complete with other players. These quests should bring an important reminder that relates to Dr. King’s speech: We move forward when we work together.”
The event has been met with a mixed reaction by fans with some bewildered by the crossover. Seeing as Fortnite normally adds superheroes, movie protagonists, pop stars, and other video game figures to the game, MLK was seen as a bit of an odd choice.
That said, it’s not like players can equip an MLK skin and run around the game, but the update does include quests and challenges and a spray for players to unlock.
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Controversy over the event eventually resulted in The King Center and MLK’s daughter issuing a statement on the in-game content and distancing themselves from it.
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). #MLK
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) August 26, 2021
“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,” The King Center explained. “These licensing decisions are made by Intellectual Properties Management (IPM).”
King’s daughter Bernice also responded to the Fortnite event: “Decisions around licensing my father’s intellectual property are outside of my personal purview,” she said.
Decisions around licensing my father’s intellectual property are outside of my personal purview. https://t.co/Qr1iztjG0h
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) August 26, 2021
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for events such as this given the general reaction and if Fortnite continues to honor important, influential people in-game going forward.