Epic Games, the developer of the massively popular Fortnite, has announced that it will air a series of conversations about race, featuring “prominent” black voices from various sectors.
The hit game, estimated to be played by a staggering 350 million people worldwide, will host the conversation series titled ‘We The People’ on Saturday. The program will be aired in the game’s Battle Royale game mode.
Viewers will hear from speakers who include Elaine Welteroth, former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue.
Welteroth headed the magazine until September 2017 and was praised for injecting more social justice and politics content into the publication. She was credited with treating teenagers like “rounded human beings with agency and intellect.”
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Nonetheless, some may take issue with the legacy of her approach. The publication stoked controversy last fall, for instance, after it advised its young readers how to have anal sex.
Those tuning in will also hear from Jemele Hill, a writer for The Atlantic, and rapper Killer Mike, who apologized to the LGBT community back in 2016 for using the slur “f*g” in a lyric, saying he “knew better” and would “do better.” Since then, he’s made good on that promise, having become a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter protests and delivered – albeit reluctantly – an emotional speech in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s killing that went viral across the world.
The event will be hosted by Van Jones, who is, of course, also no stranger to controversy, having come under fire (and ultimately resigned) from his job in the Obama administration for his past affiliation with 9/11 ‘truthers.’
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Fortnite has become a powerful marketing tool, due to its cultural relevance and the relative youth of its players. In April, a hugely popular concert by Travis Scott clocked 12 million views within the game, and, in May, Christopher Nolan used it to release a trailer for his – now delayed – upcoming film, ‘Tenet.’
The ‘We The People’ event will start at 8:46am CDT, in reference to the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd, killing him in the process.
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