Ninja Says It’s “Not My Job” to Educate Racist and Sexist Kids on His Stream
He's also still not streaming one-on-one with women streamers.
Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins was recently interviewed by The New York Times which goes into his career as a streamer and his audience. The interview also goes into his responsibility for his younger audience, and his comments made a few years ago about streaming with women players. Ninja made a name for himself through streaming Epic Games’ Fortnite on the Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch, before signing a contract to be exclusive to Microsoft’s now-dead streaming platform Mixer. He returned to Twitch following Mixer’s shutdown.
In the interview he talked about the toxic nature of the live-stream chat, “it sucks that there are kids who can say racist things and be incredibly aggressive and threatening to women online and have zero repercussions.” Ninja continued “it all comes down to parenting. You want to know who your kid is? Listen to him when he’s playing video games when he thinks you’re not.”
He added: “How does a white kid know he has white privilege if his parents never teach him or don’t talk about racism? If they’re gaming and their first interaction with racism is one of their friends saying the N-word and they have no idea what it is”.
He continued by going into who the responsibility should fall to, “what if it was on my stream? Is it my job to have this conversation with this kid? No, because the first thing that’s going on in my head is, This kid is doing this on purpose to troll me.”
A bit later in the interview, the question regarding his stance on streaming with women is brought up following his comments from an interview back in 2018. “The second a girl’s voice comes over the mic, guys lose their [expletive]. It’s like: “Holy [expletive]! A girl is playing a video game!” It’s astonishing that someone could think it’s OK to say stuff like that to women.”
He continued, “it’s like how it is with actors. I don’t want to start drama, but Justin Timberlake — he’s married — was filming a movie, was at a bar, was holding hands with an actress. They were just working together, but all it takes is one moment, and now it’s horrible, even if it’s just accusations. Accusations are what made me say that about female gamers.”
Ninja went on to say that because of the potential for these accusations, he now does anything in his power to avoid rumours and clickbait videos being created about him. He also said, “I still stand by not having a lot of alone time with a woman, in general, if you are a married man. I mean, they could be your best friend, that’s totally cool.”
He then mentioned that people would start talking if he played with a woman streamer in a one-on-one setting, so instead “if I am going to play with female gamers, I do it with a big group so it’s not that one-on-one interaction.”
When asked about having a platonic relationship Ninja replied, “Of course a guy and a girl can be friends without getting intimate. But it’s like, temptation, man.”
He continued, “Actually, I don’t like that word, because I have control of myself and 100 percent respect for my relationship, but — I don’t know how to word it. I know people are going to potentially take this now like, “Oh, he can’t trust himself, blah blah blah.” Dude, no.”
Ninja’s comments on his audience came back a bit later in the interview where he said, “We know that we have a large, young audience who is in love with Ninja, with this gamer, this blue-haired avatar. We’re super aware of that,” and then continued to talk about his shift into voice acting for cartoons and animation. But it seems as if he has no plans to try calling out toxic behaviours on streams in the near future.