Epic has removed the Travis Scott “Out West” dance emote from Fortnite following the rap star’s deadly Astroworld concert in Houston, Texas, which killed 8 people.
Epic went so far as to temporarily disable the Fortnite item shop’s Daily section, which rotates skins and other cosmetics and emotes on a regular basis. It’s believed that Scott’s emote was meant to be included in the latest update.
The official Fortnite Status Twitter account later confirmed the Daily section’s removal but did not mention Scott or his emote by name.
It’s known that the “Daily” section of the Item Shop has been disabled. This is intentional and the “Daily” section will return with the next Item Shop refresh. pic.twitter.com/rc6Kqh7qoW
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) November 8, 2021
A spokesperson for Epic Games declined to comment when emailed by IGN.
Scott’s Astroworld is a music festival that took place on November 5 in Houston’s NRG Park. On Friday, the first day of the event, a crowd surged toward the front of the stage where Scott was performing. At least eight people have been killed, with many more injured, according to CNN. Victims ranged in age from 14 to 27, with one victim’s age currently unknown. At least 25 people were transported to the hospital. The total number of attendees reportedly neared 50,000.
Scott quickly became the subject of intense criticism as the event and aftermath unfolded. The event continued for approximately 30 minutes after a mass casualty declaration was made, according to Yahoo News. It’s currently unclear how aware Scott was of what was happening in the crowd watching his performance.
Footage from the event, collected by The Washington Post, was shared on social media. One video showed a woman climbing a camera operator’s platform to beg for help and another video shows concertgoers towards the back of the crowd chanting “stop the show.”
Scott briefly stopped his performance at 9:42 PM when he noticed a person in the crowd had passed out. Scott can be heard directing attention to the passed-out person and asking the crowd to move away from them. Video from the event shows what appears to be security guards in reflective jackets arriving at the spot.
The second day of the show scheduled for November 6 was later canceled, and Scott released a statement saying he was “absolutely devastated” by the events of the day before.
Scott was previously the star of Fortnite’s first major concert event in April 2020, where the rap star was digitally recreated into a towering avatar who danced around the Fortnite Battle Royale map and transported players into space. The event signaled the start of Epic’s push towards greater marketing collaborations and public events, and some might say also showed the promise of Epic’s plans for its own “metaverse.”
The in-game event was watched by 12.3 million people, according to Epic. Epic released two skins based on Scott’s Astro Jack persona, plus additional cosmetics, including the “Out West” emote. Fortnite has since held a similar event for pop star Ariana Grande.
It’s currently unclear if Epic plans to remove any additional content related to Scott or the Astroworld brand.
(Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images)
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.