Fortnite streamer Ninja has been in the spotlight lately as one of the most well-known players of the hit battle royale game. Not only was the streamer interviewed by news channel CNBC about the game, but Ninja also took part in a Fortnite stream that involved Drake, Travis Scott, and other celebrities. But today, Fortnite fans are now talking about Ninja for an entirely different reason.
During a March 27 Fortnite Twitch stream with fellow Twitch streamer Nadeshot, Ninja appears to have used the n-word while singing a song. The song in question is called 44 More which includes the lyrics “Ayy, b—h, I’ve been goin’ and goin’ like the Energizer // I’m supplying the wood like Elijah In the cut, smokin’ on indica // Might f–k around and compartmentalize ya // They say, they say life is a b—h And if that’s the case then I’m finna surprise her.” However, when Ninja recites this specific part of the song, he stumbles over the words and when he gets to the section that mentions indica, the streamer appears to replace the next words with the offensive racial slur. The song does not include the n-word at all and Ninja appears to be ad-libbing.
NINJA JUST SAID THE N WORD ON STREAM LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/ws6rCkMhNV
— desp (@bigracks) March 28, 2018
Clips of the incident are currently doing the rounds on social media, with many people angry and frustrated to see Ninja using the n-word. Many have also called on the streamer to apologize. As some have also noted, even Nadeshot looks taken aback after Ninja says it. As of the time of writing, neither of the streamers have responded to the backlash and according to his Twitter account, Ninja is taking the day off from streaming in order to spend time with his wife.
This incident with Ninja follows several other high-profile incidents of well-known streamers using racial slurs or behaving in a racially insensitive manner. Most notably, PewDiePie came under fire after using the n-word during a stream of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Former Overwatch League player xQc was also dropped from the Dallas Fuel after using Twitch chat emotes in a racially disparaging manner.
As mentioned, Ninja is one of the most high profile players of Fortnite and he makes over half a million dollars each month from streaming on Twitch with the majority of that money coming from people who pay to subscribe to his channel. It’s unclear whether this incident will affect those earnings in any way and whether Twitch will take any action (it took place on Nadeshot’s channel, not Ninja’s) but the streamer will certainly be under close scrutiny from here on out.
UPDATE (March 29th): Ninja has issued an apology following the incident. It reads:
“While I am confident that most of this is a misunderstanding, I recognize that it’s my responsibility to never let there be THIS kind of a misunderstanding. More than anything, I hate that any of my friends, fans, or viewers might feel disrespected. It is my job, and hopefully I’m usually good at it, to make everyone feel welcome, valued, and safe to be themselves. So I apologize to anyone who might feel hurt because I NEVER want that. It’s my stream, and it’s on me to make that right. The best way I can explain it is that I promise that I understand how much pain that word causes, even if it gets used a lot in music and elsewhere. It’s a word historically used to divide people, and I’m about bringing people together. I promise that there was no mal intent (I wasn’t even trying to say the word-I fumbled lyrics and got tongue tied in the worst possible way). Again, I apologize for offending anyone and appreciate you all rocking with me.”
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS devices, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.