Fortnite streamer Ninja is shown playing the game with a woman in a new Samsung ad, an uncharacteristic move considering the 27-year-old previously discussed how he would “avoid” playing with female gamers.
Ninja, real name Tyler Blevins, courted controversy earlier this year when he stated that he avoided relationship gossip by way of refusing to play with women altogether.
“I don’t play with female gamers,” Ninja told Polygon in an August interview. “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.”
However, in a new video for Samsung Galaxy, Ninja appears alongside a female Fortnite player. Does this act of defiance in the face of a toxic internet culture show that Ninja is standing up against the misogynistic sect of his audience? Is the streamer making a bold statement as Twitch’s most popular personality?
Fortunately for Ninja fans who planned to harass the Fortnite pro if he depicted himself sitting next to a woman, the encounter with the female gamer was just a dream. Even in Samsung commercials, Ninja can’t play a game with a woman on-camera.
Twitch has harassment policies in place to deter users from engaging in derogatory behavior, though female streamers have found themselves on the receiving end of targeted abuse. The phrase “Twitch thot” has been repeatedly used by unsavory members of the community to refer to female streamers, with it now becoming part of the site’s common parlance. Ninja addressed online harassment in a response to critics of his comments, explaining how he was attempting to avoid it in a tweeted statement.
“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,” he tweeted.
The Samsung Galaxy commercial shows Fortnite being played professionally using smartphones, the second most unrealistic thing about the ad next to Ninja standing beside a woman who isn’t his wife.
It can be watched below: