Tyler "Ninja" Blevins defends his decision to not stream with women in a newly released statement. The popular Twitch streamer made headlines recently after he revealed that it was a conscious decision on his part not stream with his female peers in an effort to prevent any unwanted gossip between him and whoever lady streamer he could be playing with. His statement understandably drew backlash from people in the gaming community, with critics calling his actions discriminatory to women in the industry.
As of this month, Blevins is the most watched streamer on Twitch with over ten million followers. The 27-year-old is particularly famous for his Fortnite Battle Royal events. He even once played with Canadian rapper Drake which racked more than 600,000 concurrent viewers in one play session, but he usually gets an average of 50,000 viewers per stream. With such a huge following, no wonder his latest comments are such a controversial topic in the community.
Blevins took to his official Twitter (via Polygon) account to release a statement in response to the backlash that he received after his recent comments about refusing to play with his female peers on Twitch, Blevins stands by his stance explaining that it's his way of addressing online harassment. Read his full open letter below:
"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. 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.
We are fans of all kind of streamers and gamers — curvyllama, juliatv, and halieatisuto are a few of our favorites and we encourage others to check out their channels. I look forward to the opportunity to meet and play with all kinds of Fortnite players in future tournaments and events.”
Blevin's stance remains to be a dividing issue among streamers and the video game community in general. While some understand where he's coming from, others feel like it's only furthering the gap between male and female players even if that wasn't his intetion. It's obviously a tricky issue with both sides of the debate presenting valid points. The comments section of Blevin's latest tweet is proof of that. Those who understand the player's sentiments cited previous incidents where a male and female player streamed and followers quickly started "shipping" them, while some suggest that he can simply ignore the gossip and not flirt with girls if he really wants to collaborate with female streamers.
At the end of the day, it's Blevins' prerogative who he wants to play with, which people should totally respect, especially since he's doing it for the sake of his married life as he explained. On the other hand, given that he's a top-notch streamer with millions of fans around the globe, he has the responsibility to his community to make it as inclusive as possible, and consciously not wanting to play with female streamers isn't really setting a good example.