Eminem is heading to Fortnite’s The Big Bang live event, but some LGBTQ+ fans aren’t happy

A digitised version of the Rapper Eminem, starring in the upcoming Fortnite event The Big Bang

With the beloved Fortnite OG season coming to an end, events are finally returning to the game for 2023 with the biggest live event yet — The Big Bang.

The Big Bang begins on Saturday, December 2 at 2pm ET — and according to the Fortnite team, “something big’s about to happen… this event marks a new beginning for Fortnite.” 

Epic Games stated in a blog post that players will be able to see The Big Bang in the Battle Royale Discover section of the game, roughly 30 minutes before the event is set to kick off. This would allow players to get prepared — link up with friends (with up to parties of 4!) and, of course, get your desired cosmetics in order! 

But that’s not all. Well-known Fortnite leaker HYPEX posted on X, formerly Twitter, revealing luminous art of rapper Eminem in the Fortnite universe. The colourful promo art features Slim Shady himself surrounded by floating stage equipment and a vibrant blue and purple light whilst rocking his famed bleach blond buzz cut.  

On Wednesday (22 November) Fortnite took to their social media to confirm the news that thousands of eager fans had been waiting to hear. Whilst releasing a new promo art on their blog, featuring three different Eminem skins, they also posted the leaked imagery with a caption that read: “The real deal. Eminem in The Big Bang! December 2, 2023.”

Eminem also took to X to tease the collaboration with a promotional video captioned “calling all grandmas 12.2”. 

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According to a Fortnite blogpostthe new Rap Boy, Slim Shady, and Marshall Never More Outfits (and matching accessories) will be released in the item shop on November 29th at 7pm ET.

Eminem controversies

However, not everyone has been that pleased about the news, given Eminem’s controversial use of homophobic slurs and vulgar, derogatory language in songs previously. 

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One user took to X writing “Fortnite if you can make a Slim Shady Eminem Skin you can also give us a Poker Face Lady Gaga Skin!”

Another posted, “Crazy to think Eminem would do a concert in Fortnite. He’s not PG”.

Fortnite’s LGBTQ+ history

Trans DC superhero Dreamer in Fortnite in a promotional video for the game's LGBTQ+ Pride event Rainbow Royale
Fortnite and creator Epic Games were criticised for not explicitly stating that Rainbow Royale 2023 is connected to the LGBTQ+ community. (Epic Games/YouTube)

Previously, Fortnite has proudly shown its dedication to supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community via their LGBTQ+ Pride event “Rainbow Royale”.

Rainbow Royale was first launched in July 2021 to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and Pride, offering Fortnite users rainbow-themed content and free cosmetic items to customise their characters with.

The popular event returned for two weeks in August 2022, introducing DC superhero Dreamer as a skin in the item shop – the first canonically trans character to appear in-game.

Dreamer – who goes by her civilian name Nia Nal – is a powerful superhero with the abilities of precognition, dream walking, astral projection and energy projection. 

Yet in 2023, Rainbow Royale returned to Fortnite for a third consecutive year, but many fans have expressed unhappiness over Epic Games’ failure to explicitly state that the event is designed to champion LGBTQ+ people. This year, the event failed to explicitly mention words like ‘Pride’ or LGBTQ+’.

Furthermore, there have been reports that trans workers face a hostile work environment at Fortnite developer Epic Games. A former Epic Games employee, who went by the alias Gregor, alleged their contract was terminated for raising concerns over how trans workers are treated.  Previously, Epic Games did not respond to a PinkNews request for comment.

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When is the Fortnite live event 2023?

The Big Bang live event takes place on Saturday 2nd December.

The Big Bang live event start times are as follows:

  • UK – 7pm (GMT)
  • Europe – 8pm (CET)
  • East Coast US – 2pm (ET)
  • West Coast US – 11am (PT)

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