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Ninja Doubles Down On Comments About Streaming With Women

Ninja recently sat down with the New York Times for a wide-ranging interview that touched on several controversial subjects, including his thoughts on former President Donald Trump, online toxicity, and his role in influencing his audience. One portion of the discussion that's sure to raise some eyebrows came towards the middle when Ninja reasserted why he rarely streams with female gamers.


The discussion of Ninja's decision to avoid streaming with female streamers, at least one-on-one, arose after the interviewer referenced the 2018 Polygon interview in which he stated, "I don't play with female streamers." In that interview, Ninja explained that he wasn't willing to risk the gossip that might come from him streaming with a woman. When he first spoke about the decision, he felt that the potential for pushback on his choice to only stream with other men was minimal. He even stated, "There hasn't been a single female gamer or streamer on Twitch or anything like that who's been upset about that."

However, when Polygon published those statements, they a controversy was ignited. Negative reactions didn't just come from female streamers and gamers, but from of all corners of the community. Some, such as Fortnite streamer Valkyrae, defended Ninja's decision on the basis that it was made in support of his then-recent marriage. However, others pointed out that having perhaps the most famous streamer in the world refusing to engage with female streamers could make it harder for women to establish themselves in an environment that can be openly hostile to women.


After that backlash, Ninja attempted to clarify the issue by claiming in a follow-up Polygon interview that the problem was "online harassment," a position that he doubled down on in the recent New York Times interview. 

Ninja explained, "Accusations [of infidelity] are what made me say that about female gamers." According to Ninja, a desire to avoid being the subject of "clickbait videos" regarding hypothetical relationships led to his original decision to minimize solo streaming time with female gamers who were not his wife. Ninja ended his remarks on the subject with, "So 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."

Unfortunately, Ninja did not quite answer a critical part of the question the New York Times interviewer posed, which was what the controversy had taught him about the "gender dynamics of gaming." For now and the immediate future, it seems, Ninja will stick to streaming with other male gamers to avoid any questions about his marriage, even if it means denying his many talented female peers access to his influential platform.