Updated on 8/14 at 2:20 pm with a statement from Ninja.
Twitch megastar Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins garnered headlines over the weekend for his decidedly traditional approach to maintaining a healthy marriage with fellow streamer Jessica ‘JGhosty’ Blevins.
Blevins, who is the most-followed streamer on Twitch by a landslide thanks to his Fortnite prowess, told Polygon that he will not appear with female gamers on stream in order to avoid gossip or rumors about infidelity. “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 the outlet.
Blevins, who recently celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary, frequently sings his wife’s praises on social media, but insists that the decision was his alone. “She had nothing to do with it. That was me being, ‘I love our relationship,’” Blevins told Polygon, “and, ‘No — I’m not even gonna put you through that.’”
Polygon notes that while Twitch culture — and all online spaces — tend to foster rumor-mongering, women are particularly susceptible to judgment and harassment on the platform. And while many spectators applauded Blevins’ stance on social media, others critiqued him for reinforcing archaic notions that men and women can’t be friends or platonic colleagues. They added that it would be a healthy thing for the community to see its most powerful streamer engaging with a female creator in this way.
On Twitter, Ninja defended his position and reiterated that he didn’t mean to belittle female streamers.
Please read. pic.twitter.com/egfplBQFYD
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 13, 2018