XSET co-owner and and Chief Culture Officer Erin Ashley Simon has launched a new interview series/talk show this week on YouTube called Real Gems with Erin Ashley Simon. The show, which runs for an average of 40 – 60 minutes long, aims to spotlight content creators and creatives in sports, entertainment, and gaming talking about their origin stories, struggles, diversity and inclusion, and victories on their journeys to success.
The series officially launched on Tuesday, with two episodes already live featuring WNBA Champion turned gamer/content creator Aerial Powers and adult film star turned host, musician, writer, and content creator Sasha Grey. Future episodes will feature comedian Kevin “Kev on Stage” Fredericks, reality star Dom Gabriel, streamer and host Kassem G, author Jessica Nabongo, and cosplayer Kiera Please.
Simon is well-suited as a host given her past work with Cheddar, VENN, NFL Tuesday Night Gaming, as an NBA2K League host, and much more. She is also a vocal advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, DEI, and works with the University of Kentucky on the Erin Ashley Simon Esports Internship Fund, a “multiyear internship, inclusive of extensive mentorship and experiential learning opportunities that engage and educate on the many facets of the dynamic esports industry.” Simon graduated from UK College of Communication and Information in 2014 and the scholarship is her way of giving back to the university. UK freshman Abbie Davidson was awarded the first scholarship in January.
The show is part of Simon’s push to show her capabilities beyond just gaming and esports. In May, she wrote in a social media post that she was more than just a personality in gaming and esports:
“Many people either know me for my work in gaming and esports or have come across articles highlighting my work in these spaces. And although I’m very grateful for how these industries have embraced me, it’s also pigeonholed me. Luckily, with my 13+ years working in entertainment, I’ve made the decision with my team to branch out beyond gaming. So not only will you see me at more non-gaming events, but also in non-gaming content.”