Fortnite's month-long Rainbow Royale (opens in new tab) event has been marred by the too-brief banning of a featured creator, after they were found to have had a history of homophobic comments.
The popular creator, who is a minor, was responsible for many of the Fortnite community's favourite maps—including the Pro 100 competitive arena, which was featured as a Summer Challenge LTM this year.
Sadly, the creator was spotted spouting homophobic comments on social media (thanks Kotaku (opens in new tab)). In a response to the Rainbow Royale announcement, the creator replied with (now-deleted) comments bemoaning the event, saying "I'm not a fanatic, but this is against nature". Top5Gaming writer Ben Walker also spotted the creator liking violently homophobic tweets, one captioning an image of people burning a rainbow flag.
Simply disappointed that a company during its own “LGBTQ celebration event” let off a featured and highly-affiliated Fortnite Creator - who tweeted anti-gay rhetoric and liked slur-filled tweets - with a slap on the wrist for a few hours.Just disappointed.Final tweet on this.July 21, 2021
On discovery, Epic disabled the mapper's Support-a-creator code (which gives them a cut of any sale on the Epic store when said code is used), and removed their Pro 100 map. This ban only lasted a few hours, however, with Epic lifting the restrictions after the creator posted a Twitlonger apology.
"I am sorry for everyone I have said about the Rainbow Royale event and the LGBTQ community. I was not trying to hurt anyone but express my opinion about the event. I understand it is hurtful to the community and deeply sorry to everyone I have hurted. The reason behind it was because it is against my religion and I was grown up that way. I will try better in the future and try to continue to strive as a creator. I have much to learn and correct. I hope you guys give me a second chance as everyone should have."
It's likely the creator's youth and willingness to apologize spurred Epic to be a little more lenient, but the decision hasn't sat well with fellow Fortnite creators—particularly given the timing during Fortnite's big pride event.
"If a smaller creator had done the same they would’ve got their code removed without getting it back, it seems Epic cares too much about the plays his map receives than doing what is right, disappointing stuff," tweeted featured creator Echo (opens in new tab).
Others, like creator Tiny (opens in new tab) feel "laughed at" by Fortnite for getting excited over a supposedly queer-friendly event. Rainbow Royale may be happy to plaster Fortnite in rainbows and promote queer musicians on the in-game radio. But if the game's own LGBTQ+ players don't feel safe, then all that work is nothing but noise.