The Valkyrae "blue light" saga took another twist yesterday, as private messages between the beleaguered streamer and her twitch colleague and friend Ludwig Ahgren were leaked. The leaks happened when Brandon "Atrioc" Ewing was using Ludwig’s computer while streaming, and paint the RFLCT representative, whose full name is Rachell "Rae" Hofstetter, in a better light than recent headlines have.
For those who aren’t aware, the streamer and internet personality has been facing widespread criticism for her promotion of a new skin care product, ostensibly aimed at gamers, that promises to protect against "blue" light. This claim was hotly disputed when the product dropped, with scientific consensus certainly not universally supporting the idea blue light represents a genuine skin care risk, or that the product could provide any exceptional or groundbreaking protection.
The latest twist sees Valkyrae’s DM conversation with Ludwig go public, one in which she seems to present herself as a naive victim of a scheme perpetrated by her business partners in this case, Ulta Beauty. At present, it looks like the streamer is attempting to extricate herself from her contract with the firm, something she believes she may be able to achieve due to the fact she "didn’t sign one of the contracts" which gives her "a bit of leverage", in her own words.
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According to the conversation Valkyrae had trusted Ulta"s work based on their $4m investment in the RFLCT skin cream, reasoning that the company would not have spent that amount of money on a product they didn't know to be legitimate. She admits her own error in believing the company, stating that she is “so dumb” and complaining that the saga “ruins her brand”.
Ludwig’s part in the conversation is mainly agreeing with Valkyrae, although he does state at one point that a “celebrity endorsement for an actor would face no backlash”, something that is certainly not supported by the historical evidence. It’s also worth noting that the ‘leak’ occurred at a very convenient time for Valkyrae, who had been accused of trying to scam her fans, but comes across in the conversation with Ludwig as a victim of Ulta’s work rather than an active participant.
There may be repercussions for Valkyrae if any part of the conversation is in breach of contractual agreements or NDAs signed with RFLCT, although at this point it would make the most sense for both parties to go their own way, given the outright failure of the product to gain a positive reception from the target audience. Neither Valkyrae or RFLCT have benefited from the debacle, and there is no real hope of the skin cream gaining traction with those aware of Valkyrae.