After comedian Matt Rife was blasted on social media for opening his first Netflix special, “Natural Selection,” with a domestic abuse joke, he responded on Monday by offending even more people. Instead of an actual apology, he linked to a site that sells safety helmets for people with special needs.
One Redditor wrote of Rife’s non-apology, “Holy crap. Has anyone else seen his response?! The link is f–king atrocious. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone to get canceled so bad before, this man is disgusting.”
The 28-year-old comedian begins “Natural Selection,” which Netflix released on Wednesday, with a joke about why a female server with a black eye has been assigned to wait on tables instead of being kept in the kitchen. Rife’s punchline: “Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.”
He then tells the audience that he was “just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not … I figure if we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”
“I think Matt Rife’s special is so bad because he’s trying so hard to prove himself to other men through misogyny. It’s desperate and sad,” wrote disability advocate @Cooperstreaming on X.
I think Matt Rife's special is so bad because he's trying SO hard to prove himself to other men through misogyny. It's desperate and sad.
— Cooper (@Cooperstreaming) November 20, 2023
“The girls and gays were Matt Rife’s biggest demographic and he used his Netflix special to pander to toxic masculinity. It feels like a betrayal,” @NikkiNuVogue said.
The girls and gays were Matt Rife's biggest demographic and he used his Netflix special to pander to toxic masculinity. It feels like a betrayal. pic.twitter.com/sGFoqLYGvg
— Nikki NuVogue (@NikkiNuVogue) November 20, 2023
“If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told, here’s a link to my official apology,” Rife wrote in his Instagram story response. The link went to a website where you can purchase autism helmets.
The “gotcha” joke prompted even more outrage.
One Twitter user shared a gif of Stephen Colbert gleefully eating popcorn with the quote, “Me witnessing the downfall of Matt Rife after saying from Day 1 that he gives off ‘president of the frat that women warn other women about’ vibes.”
Rife’s previous work, which was featured to millions of view counts on TikTok and YouTube, was described by one former fan as “witty and playful.” They added that the Netflix special is “such uninspired, lazy, crass middle school humor and his demeanor was bitter and resentful. Nothing like the persona that made him famous.”
One of Rife’s YouTube specials released earlier this year was called “Walking Red Flag,” prompting one X user to write, “Comedian Matt Rife was catapulted to fame mostly due to women, but as soon as he gets a special, he lets his true nature come to light. Starting off with a joke about domestic violence and adding in some ablest ‘jokes’ really tells you who he is. He is a walking red flag.”
The comic was coming off his sold-out ProbleMATTic World Tour. Netflix’s press site quotes a Rife joke, “You can’t cancel me — I’m not your gym membership.”
The streamer, which did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, referred to “Natural Selection” as ” charmingly ruthless.”
Catch more social media reactions to Rife’s special and his non-apology below.
“Comedian” Matt Rife was catapulted to fame mostly due to women but as soon as he gets a special he lets his true nature come to light. Starting off w/a joke abt domestic violence & adding in some ablest “jokes” really tells you who he is. He is a walking red flag. pic.twitter.com/j4OjFk93BY
— SassyMétisChick (@SassyMetisChick) November 21, 2023
Me witnessing the downfall of Matt Rife after saying from Day 1 that he gives off ‘president of the frat that women warn other women about’ vibes: pic.twitter.com/Eq2Hqmk3Wy
— only kind of rad (@julianne_terese) November 20, 2023