Ninja defends his decision to avoid streaming with women

Fortnite-forged Twitch streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins recently stated that he avoids streaming with women on Twitch because he doesn't want to bring drama or gossip down on himself, his wife, or other women. 

"If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever," Blevins told Polygon, adding that "the only way to avoid that [gossip] is to not play with them at all." 

Blevins said that "there hasn't been a single female gamer or streamer on Twitch or anything like that who's been upset about that." But in the past few days, several women, including many Twitch streamers and YouTubers, have openly disagreed with Blevins' view. Some women argued that it reinforces the gender divide already seen in games and Twitch, and others said they were disappointed to see the biggest and most influential streamer on the platform bow to the threat of drama rather than use his influence to help combat the sexism that fuels that drama.

However, some streamers, like Rachel "Valkyrae" Hoffsetter, supported Blevins and encouraged others to "respect decisions that limit drama in people's personal lives," as Hoffsetter put it. Likewise, others agreed that Blevins' decision is the best way to curb the Twitch community's toxicity. The debate raged on, so yesterday Blevins tweeted a follow-up statement to clarify his stance. 

"While I understand some people have implied my views mean I have something against playing with women, I want to make clear the issue I'm addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimize it from our life," Blevins said. "It is something that affects all streamers, especially ones that make their relationships public. I wanted to bring attention to this issue and my comments should not be characterized as anything beyond that. Having just celebrated my one year anniversary, my wife and my family will always be the most important thing to me and I am doing my best to protect them." 

Blevins also said that he looks forward to playing with "all kinds of Fortnite players" at future tournaments and events, and in a reply to another Twitter user, pointed out that he regularly hosts women on his Twitch channel. 

Blevins closed his statement by naming three Twitch streamers—Curvyllama, Juliatv and HalieAtisuto—and encouraging his followers to check out their channels. In response, HalieAtisuto explained that she herself was targeted by "conspiracy theories in regards to my intentions" when she was hosted by Blevins, and supported his initial comments and his updated statement.