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21st Nov 2023

Comedian Matt Rife hit with backlash over response to people offended by Netflix special joke

Nina McLaughlin

Matt Rife has been met with backlash as a result of a joke in his Netflix special

One of Netflix’s latest comedy specials titled Natural Selection has faced criticism due to a controversial joke.

Comedian Matt Rife is known for his shows such as Wild ‘n Out, as well as his own specials Walking Red Flag and Matthew Steven Rife.

However, in his latest production, one of the 28-year-old’s jokes has come under scrutiny for sexism and making light of domestic violence.

Rife said: “I’ve only been to Baltimore one time, and the hostess who seats you had a black eye – a full black eye.

“It wasn’t like, ‘What happened?’ It was pretty obvious what happened. But we couldn’t get over, like, this is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?

“And my boy, who I was with, was like: ‘Yeah, I feel bad for her, man, I feel like they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face.’

“And I was like: ‘Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.'”

When some members of the audience did not find humour in the joke, Rife continued.

“I figured we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be pretty smooth sailing,” he said.

“Of course I felt bad for her. She should have had her protection crystals, you know what I mean?”

Rife’s joke has been widely panned, with people calling it ‘offensive’ and ‘disrespectful’.

The comedian then responded by saying he had issued an ‘official apology’, which linked out to a website selling helmets for people with special needs.

People have been responding to Rife’s actions online, and they have pointed out the distinction ‘between an edgy joke and just being disrespectful and distasteful’.

“Oh good. Ableism to chase the misogyny,” one person said.

Another wrote: “Matt Rife’s comedy is probably really good if you’re a sexist 16 year old boy.”

While a third said: “Ableism and sexism is gross. I hope Matt Rife’s downfall is swift and definitive.”

Rife has responded to the backlash and told the New York Times that he found the reaction to his actions to be ‘insane’.

He added: “You’re mad at somebody that’s just trying to make you laugh? That’s such an insane concept to me.”

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