Ninja Streams A Game With A Woman; World Doesn't End

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (Photo: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Twitter)

On Wednesday, controversy surrounding Fortnite golden boy Tyler “Ninja” Blevins resurfaced after a high-profile callout of his apparent avoidance of streaming with female gamers. Blevins defended himself on Twitter and, on Friday afternoon, did in fact play Fortnite with a female gamer.

Blevins was criticised 14 months ago after telling Polygon “I don’t play with female gamers.” At the time he said he didn’t want to put his wife “through that,” saying it could lead to claims of flirting and worse.

It’s unclear how much he streamed with women since then, but a series of events brought the topic back this week.

On Wednesday, when Lady Gaga asked who Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was, the obvious answer was “The biggest streamer on Earth.” That wasn’t the description longtime Twitch streamer Kacey “Kaceytron” Caviness gave on Twitter:

“He’s one of the most popular streamers on the internet and he doesn’t support women as he publicly announced he will never duo stream with any woman.”

Blevins replied to Caviness three hours later, saying that since the article he has “played squads with multiple women after that article over the last year and a half as well as hosted MANY female streamers.”

Looking back at the 14 months since Blevins’ controversial statement, it’s been difficult to find many female gamers he intentionally queued up with for games. There was the 13-year-old Fortnite streamer Ewok. He also streamed with the 61-year-old talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres. It’s certainly possible he has streamed with more female gamers, but not with any regularity. Some women Blevins’ fans said he’s played with, like Rachel “Asivrs” Retana, weren’t actually tapped by Blevins to be on his stream; they just queued up through the game.

Kotaku has asked Blevins’ team whether they can elaborate on his Tweet and give examples of women he has intentionally queued up for games with. They did not return the request for comment.

Today, however, he sure did it. The woman on his stream is Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, a capable and high-energy streamer for the team 100 Thieves, and the part of Blevins’ chat that’s making it through moderation seems to be enjoying her presence. Others ask: “What happened to no playing with girls?”

Caviness has been receiving a barrage of hate for pointing out Blevins’ 2018 statement. Among thousands of tweets sent to her over the past 24 hours, some have called her a “retard,” a “bitch,” a “thot” and a “feminazi.” Many of these messages defend Blevins’ decision, saying he did it “out of respect for his wife.” (Caviness, whom Kotaku has profiled, has remained relevant on Twitch since 2013 for her satire and provocative sense of humour.)

“At the time [of the Polygon article] he was the most popular Fortnite streamer, played with all of the other popular guy streamers... essentially making it a club that female Fortnite players were left out of,” said Caviness on Twitter. “Being a female in gaming, it upset me. Do I want to play with Ninja? Fuck no, appeasing sponsors and babysitting kids isn’t really my forte.”


Thanks to the ADL for sharing their research on tweets sent to Caviness after her statement.


Comments

    Wow, way to flip the article at the mid-point. Instead of actually sticking on the topic of Ninja playing Fortnight with females, you successfully turned it into a Kaceytron victim article.

    Gawd, reading Twitter feels like watching the old WWF sometimes.

    Thought I was going to read about Ninja, ended up reading about something else entirely. Great article /s

    Seriously, you don't have the right to condemn him for what happened *years* ago. He made a point not to stream with other women as it had to do with personal relationship issues. It wasn't being sexist, or misogynist, it was him saying 'I'm doing this for the benefit of my partner'. Stop being such Mrs Lovejoys...

      That excuse he gave at the time was faulty, and he was rightfully pilloried for it. Nobody then was going to start rumours he was sleeping with other women just because he streamed with them, nobody did it the few times he has done, and nobody did it this time. Even if those rumours existed, his wife (who is also his brand manager and understands the streaming business quite well) was never going to be naive enough to think there was any merit to it whatsoever. It was always a dishonest explanation and in ruling out that explanation, not many of the ones remaining cast him in a very positive light.

        Unfortunately that's all just conjecture and speculation. The moment a personal relationship enters the fray people need to back off.

          A personal relationship isn't a 'get out of scrutiny free' card. Nobody gets to justify being racist because a personal relationship is involved, why would being sexist be any different?

            Because it wasnt sexist despite you and other people claming it was?

              He discriminated against a group on the basis of their sex. That's the definition of sexism.

                It's his channel.

                No one is entitled to appear on it.

                  Just like it's your boss's company, so nobody's entitled to a pay raise in it. So if your boss decides to refuse pay raises to men and only give them to women, you're okay with that?

                  Just like it's your boss's company, so nobody's entitled to a pay raise in it. So if your boss decides to refuse pay raises to men and only give them to women, you're okay with that?

                  Did someone say "WORKPLACE LAWS"

                  Did you know that no such laws exist for a streamer, On his own channel, That he alone decides who streams on it.

                  Got the perfect song for you Zomb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp1Q-X-M-mI

                  Good job on identifying that in Australia it's codified by law. That law is called the Anti-Discrimination Act, as well as others like the Sex Discrimination Act, and their names give you a big clue about what it prohibits. The law identifies that treating someone differently on the basis of various protected categories is discrimination; discrimination on the basis of sex is called sexism.

                  If the law defines your boss discriminating against you on the basis of your sex as sexism and prohibits it, then you discriminating against someone else on the basis of their sex is also sexism. The only difference is whether it's in or out of the workplace and whether it's legal or illegal; the definition of sexism applies to both regardless.

                  Last time i checked Ninja isnt an employer.

                  He does not employ the people who streams with him

                  Again, the workplace is only relevant to whether it's illegal. It's sexism whether it's in the workplace or out of it.

                And gay men discriminate against women for not wanting to be in a relationship with them... so when are we going to call gay men sexist?

                If he didn't want to stream with other women out of respect for his partner, that's his decision. It's not "sexist" at all. You don't know him personally do you? Do you know their relationship well? Perhaps there's underlying issues there? You don't know.

                Stop being a jerk.

                  Your first paragraph is absurdly broken reasoning. Homosexuality is not a choice. Who Ninja streams with is very much a choice.

                  Yes, it's his decision. The decision he made was sexist, and he was rightly called out for it. He made the decision himself, without consulting his wife, who both doesn't have a problem with it and has organised a handful of women to appear in his streams already. This was solely his decision, based solely on his personal hangups.

                  @Zombie Jesus

                  Oh so you do know them personally and have spoken to them on this matter, my apologies!

                  So his wife organised female streamers to be on his stream? When? Before his comments or after?? Considering this seems to be such a big deal, I'd hazard a guess and say after his initial comments... Which shows that really, she was forced to do such a thing to protect their brand.

                  But, unlike you, I don't know them personally

              I love the logic.

              Ninja doesn't want to stream with women for personal reasons - SEXIST PIG!

              Brie Larson doesn't want to be interviewed by white men - SO STUNNING AND BRAVE!

          Not really, it was a rubbish reason. He’s implying that the risk of being perceived to be flirting is too great, which says a lot about how he views female streamers in a professional sense. The only thing to draw from that comment is that he feels like he can’t trust them, or himself, to not appear like they’re flirting. Way to devalue the professionalism of an entire gender...

            I mean does he apply this logic to other areas of his life to apparently protect his relationship?

            “No sorry, could we get a male waiter to take our order? I don’t want my partner to think I’m flirting with you.”

            “Sorry, could I get a male nurse to change my bandage? I’d hate for people to get the wrong impression since you’re, well.. y’know.. a woman.”

            Just be professional, it’s not that hard.

              I think you're using heavily flawed logic there and being rather hyperbolic and disingenuous at the same time honestly. It isn't the "only" thing to take from it. To be honest, I feel you and ZJ are being exceedingly alarmist over it, screaming to the high heavens the guy did something awful when all he did was something normal: made a judgement call without asking his wife. Welcome to marriage 101 where guys do that all the time. Was it the right call to make? Maybe. Maybe not. But that's for him and his wife to figure out, not people on the internet who see a non issue then scream "sexist!" at the mere drop of the proverbial hat.

              I'd hate to seen how such people would collapse under the pressure of a *real* issue of gender bias arising...

                Nobody's screaming, but I can appreciate how that straw man is easier for you to attack than what's actually been said. You're also mistaken above in believing I was applying the discrimination act to this situation. If you have another read of that comment, you'll see that I was referencing the content of the discrimination act to define what constitutes sexism. The act defines sexism and that it's illegal in the workplace; if you do the same thing the act defines as sexism outside of the workplace you're still being sexist, it's just not illegal.

                It's difficult to believe you're being honest about disliking hyperbole and disingenuity or having any honest intentions toward rational discussion when you've actively upvoted, and thus supported, ad hominems in this thread. What you say doesn't align with what you do.

                  No, what I say and do annoys you, it doesn't fit inside your aligned box of 'what should be'. What I say and do in real life absolutely aligns with what I do. Don't ever confuse the two :)

                  Maybe it's time to either end the conversation or step away from the keyboard, I'm not changing my point of view, you're not convincing me at all. I'm not seeking to even persuade you in the slightest nor do I care to.

                Alarmist? Screaming? For real, that’s what you took away from my post? Yikes, talk about a tonal misread.

                All I’m saying is that thousands of people stream (and generally intact with) with people of different genders everyday without being accused of flirting, why does he feel like it’s going to be a problem for him specifically?

                  Maybe he's majorly insecure? Possibly he has a history of it behind closed doors, or perhaps, as a celebrity, he's tired of the way people on youtube, message boards and everywhere debate his comments, motions and ideas regularly (part of the problem of being a celebrity I guess, with your whole life 'out there'). Either way, everyone's an individual and that's realistically a question only he can answer, and he did. Unfortunately, a lot of people just didn't get the answer they wanted, so they went ahead and created answers that suited what they wanted to hear. That's a bigger issue these days.

                  @weresmurf

                  Either way, everyone's an individual and that's realistically a question only he can answer, and he did.

                  He answered the question of why he didn’t want to play with female streamers, but I’m interested in why he thought it would be a problem if he did. But that will have to remain an unanswered rhetorical question and I’m left to form my opinion of the guy from what he did say, which in this case I think is half-baked. I just hope that the reaction to him steaming with Valkyrae was a positive one and he sees that he was perhaps being unreasonable. But who knows, it’s the internet, anything can and will happen.

                  @mogwai that's a fair and reasonable reaction to it all. He's answered it before, people just have to accept it on face value because quite frankly, he really doesn't owe them any further explanation. He owes his *wife* that's for sure. But he doesn't owe the general public.

            Actually, it's more about his view of people who go out of their way to find something where soemthing doesn't exist.... You know... Like what you drongos are doing right now.

            It's literally a case of "people are assholes and I'd prefer to not have my wife and I deal with their made up bullcrap".

              Same response as to Weresmurf. People interact with people of different genders everyday without being accused of flirting. Let me be clear: I do not think Ninja is a misogynist, I just think in this particular instance he is being immature and self-important.

                That's fine, but when your entire image can either be built or destroyed in today's "trial by social media". Then there is nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution? That doesn't make you a sexist or anything, it means that you can't be arsed having to deal with the bullshit clickbaits/haters and all their crap.

                Hell, go have a look at the headlines of any gossip mags and blogs, go have a look at "offical" Instagram stories. "Random Kardashian/Jenner seen out and about with strange male companion, relationship on the rocks".

                Ninja's whole image/product is in the hands of people who write crap like that. If he doesn't want to have to deal with that bullcrap, that doesn't make him sexist, it makes him smart.

                  If his privacy or concerns of being misrepresented were his reasons then I don’t think the way he approached it was cautious or smart.

                  Anecdotal n=1 case: I, a gamer, who occasionally watches YouTube/Twitch streams, but does not use twitter or follow stream scene gossip, have never come across rumours of who is dating who in the steaming scene. I am blissfully ignorant to that world. Yet I definitely heard all about his comments about how he didn’t want to stream with female gamers, so it seems to me that approaching it the way he did created more widespread drama rather than less.

                  @mogwai

                  That's cool, but can you seriously say you are the target audience overall?

                  You know who do look at things like that? Sponsors, kids (his main target audience), etc. Hell, Google "ninja" and have a squiz at the first thing that pops up is this article for "top stories"... Next few are in a similar vein to this article. And this would be what his audiences parents would look at.

                  Hell, I had to scroll pretty far down to get to the wiki page of the actual Ninja.

                  Just because you (which you rightfully described as n=1) don't see it, doesn't mean the other however many MILLIONS of his fans and their parents and sponsors don't.

                  (@nuffman This thread has gotten way too tiered to follow properly but I’m replying here regardless)

                  Actually, I hadn’t considered sponsors and parents in my reasoning. That’s a fair point. Claims of infidelity would probably have more consequence for those aspects (even though I still think his previous blanket ban on streaming one on one with women was alarmist).

                  Also cheers @almightysparrow, after your systematic down voting of all my comments I’ve found myself in auto moderation. My ratio was doing fine until you sprinkled your silent opinion throughout. Appreciate it mate. Is what I had to say really that upsetting to you?

        Come on ZJ, he didn't want people to make rumours and start shipping him with female streamers as it would be embarassing for himself and his partner. Imagine if people from all across the world were posting about how your partner could do so much better? It would not be a nice feeling.

        I have dragged a man out of a 7/11 because he was absuing an Indian gentleman because of his race and I have shut co-workers down when they bitched about a colleague getting promoted "because she is female". That is real racism and sexism, not this mental gymnastics you are performing here.

          Like I said, instances of *real* discrimination vs online hyperbolic, overblown nothingness. It's night and day.

        Meanwhile, if Ninja was a female streamer who announced they don't stream with men for whatever reason they'd be getting upheld as some beacon of power... And not a sexist or anything of the sort.

        My only issue with the whole thing really.

        Don't care about Ninja or his content, never have, and the so-called 'woke' crowd picking and choosing who to support based on nothing but a person's sex or race will always be much worse than the shit they accuse people like him of.

          I can't speak for others, but I'd treat both of those the same. Sexism isn't always symmetrical, but this is one case where I believe it is.

        These comments are kind of frustrating to read.

        Personally I disagree and agree with you; I think, by definition you are correct, in that discriminating against women is by definiton sexism, as would be the case if he were discriminating by race, it would be racism, and so on and so forth.
        But I disagree with the other thing (the one in the comment I'm replying to). If Ninja actually believed that streaming with women would cause problems to him, his brand, his relationship, his dog, anything, then he was in his rights to not do that. You clearly don't believe his explanation was genuine, but I don't think you can really prove it isn't.
        Keeping in mind he at the time was to Twitch what Pewdiepie was to Youtube. Maybe when you have that many eyes on you, you don't think as logically as you should. Maybe it was paranoia, maybe it was expecting the absolute worst. We can't really know. He could confirm it himself, but then could we believe what he says?

        The article headline is hyperbolic and stupid and doesn't help anything, I think we can all at least agree on that.

        Last edited 21/10/19 12:03 am

      *Years* ago? It was 14 months.

        Sorry *over* a year ago. I'd edit but Kotaku would keep it in purgatory.

        In internet time, 14 months *is* practically years :)

    Why am i not surprised by the twist at the halfway mark.

      Bit disappointed honestly, I thought this author was one of the better ones from the US.
      (low bar, I know)

      You missed the greatest twist at the end

      Thanks to the ADL

    It's blatantly obvious that she is not only jealous of Ninjas success but trying too gain clout and attention from that very success.

    She calls him out for not streaming with women but then says "fuck no I wouldn't stream with him" for starters he wouldn't stream with you becuase your toxic, not becuase your a woman and secondly if the offer came up she certainly would stream with him.

    His decision to not stream with women is his alone, he doesn't need too justify it too anyone even though I understand the reasoning behind his explanation. It seems more of a way to try and take him down than anything else whenever it's brought up.

    Oh and by the way her homophobic comments should be enough for anyone to see the kind of person she is,
    Direct quote from twitter she has posted multiple times.

    hes not gonna let you suck his dick for whiteknighting him, he has a wife....

    Funny how Cecilia left out the rest of kaceytron's tweets were she went full retard.

    Only gotta feature the ones that fit in with the agenda.

      The only reason she decided to chuck a faux hissy fit was for attention. She has a history of it.

      This woman is a moron.

      Most of twitch (Streamers included) thinks shes a moron.

      But because she said something the faux progressives love, She is held up as some bastion of twitch.

      something something tall poppy syndrome

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gizVn6mpEc

      Hey friend, politely asking you to please not use the word retard as a pejorative. Not using it at all is even better.

        Hey friend, politely asking you to please not use the word retard as a pejorative. Not using it at all is even better.

        Fuck off.

          Can I ask - again, politely and genuinely - why you don't want to stop using retard as a pejorative?

            Because I can.

            Offence is your problem, not mine.

              Offence is your problem, not mine

              That's obviously not true, offence cannot be taken unless someone is being offensive and I'm guessing you know that. 'Because I can' is a poor justification for acting in a way that you know is going to upset people. I'll ask you again to please not use retard as a pejorative, and to maybe think about why you might want to keep using it despite knowing that it can hurt people.

                Again no.

                Why should i care about a random person who i will never meat nore care about, getting offended over the word Retarded?

                Again, Their problem. Not mine.

                I will not self-censor based on what someone deems to be offensive to them.

                  Why should i care about a random person who i will never meat

                  Empathy? The understanding that they are also a person and that maybe they might have enough shit going on in their life already without seeing some casual ableism thrown into the world.

                  Your pushing of the problem away from yourself onto another seems to be an attempt to absolve you from any blame and I am sincerely curious though as to how far your lack of personal responsibility extends. Do you take any responsibility for the effect your words have? Does it extend to physical actions? If you say something that makes someone else feel good do you yourself feel better for having said it? Or do you only shift responsibility when we are talking about a negative effect?

                  Again.

                  Why should i care if some random nobody on the internet gets offended at the word "Retarded"

                  its frankly retarded logic that i should censor myself based off that. Following your own logic i could claim your demands are offensive to me so i therefore demand you cease your demands.

                  Being offended does not make you right.

    The sad thing is the legitimate problems relating to sexism get buried by stupid shit like this. Because video game "journalists" who are bored with writing about video games decide to take on social issues that they are completely unqualified to discuss.

    The end result is a twisted logic whereby impressionable readers (not naming names, just look up) decide that white male streamers are sexist, racist, and homophobic if they do not stream with a gay black woman at least once a week.

    The even sadder thing is we all keep falling for that sweet Kotaku clickbait.

      Since I'm the only person in this article at the moment who's said what Ninja did was sexist, you effectively did name names. Your impression is well off the mark though: Nobody here has decided anything about "white male streamers", just this one. And nobody here has expected anyone to "stream with gay black women once a week", just to not rule out streaming partners on the basis of their sex. Nobody said it was the most egregious example of sexism, but it is sexism, and normalising that kind of sexism is a legitimate problem coming from someone with over twenty million subscribers, most of whom are children. I'm sorry to hear you don't agree.

        Wait... Does this mean that because Ninja has probably never *intentionally* streamed with a trans person, he is transphobic? Or a gay person, so he's homophobic? A disabled person, so he's ablest? A Jew, so he's anti-Semitic? What other labels can we ascribe to him based on your idiotic logic.

          That seems to be your logic, not mine. What I said is that if he deliberately avoids streaming with someone because of their sex, that's sexist.

            Oh... So it only became "sexist" when he voiced it. Got it

              It became sexist when he discriminated against people on the basis of their sex.

                Well then, tell me, has he streamed with a Jew? With a Transgender? A Homosexual? A Disabled person? An Indian? A Nigerian? No? Then that would mean that he is also the -phobic/-ist for those also then yeah?

                  I haven't seen him stream with a Zombie Jesus. Is Ninja also a Zombie Jesusistphobian?

                  @Gung-ho according to ZJ.. most people probably are lol

                They way ZombieJesus portrays it, is that it's like women aren't gaining something from him, therefore he's a bad person...

                Pretty sure if women want to be seen on stream, they will start their own stream. (Like many already have) They don't need ninja to stream with them, stop being such a soyboy.

        If that's what you believe then that's fine, I have to respect that. But my opinion is that Ninja is perfectly entitled to choose who he does and does not stream with. In the same way that I do not think female streamers should be forced to stream with males.

    why are some people intentionally misinterpreting Ninja's comments with him being a mysognist?

    The guys a high profile target for trolls and trash sites to criticise him for any little thing so he wanted to avoid that all together and the world loses its mind and screams "SEXIST!"

    seriously wtf?

    Grown adult finally acts like fucking grown adult.
    Christ, what a wanker.

    Go tell that to the women at female only gyms ;-)

      God imagine the debate if a male-only gym opened up, even if directly next to a female-only gym, there would be an uproar.. Such an outrage..

        we used to have safe male gyms in australia, a woman complained to a judge in court, and they went bankrupt try to fight it, but i guess it ok now, we have female only gyms...thats not sexist at all.

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