By Adam S. Levy for Dailymail.com
04:17 November 21, 2023, updated 04:27 November 21, 2023
- To kick off his set on the special, Rife told a joke that critics called sexist and made light of domestic violence.
- Rife’s joke sparked widespread criticism on Twitter, with many saying they were happy to see the TikTok sensation in hot water.
- Rife said last week that he “doesn’t really buy into all this sensitive buzz in the comedy world that we can’t say anything anymore.”
Comedian Matt Rife responded Monday after coming under fire on social media for a joke about domestic violence he told in his recently released Netflix special, Natural Selection.
“If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I told, here’s a link to my official apology,” Rife, 28, said in an Instagram Stories post, linking to a website that sells headsets for people with special needs.
To kick off his set in the special, which was filmed at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Rife told a joke that critics called sexist and made light of domestic violence.
The Columbus, Ohio-born comedian spoke a little about the contrast between the nation’s capital and its larger neighboring city, Baltimore.
“I’ve only been to Baltimore once, and the stewardess that sat you down had a black eye — a black eye,” said Rife, who gained fame on the social media platform TikTok, in the special show. “It wasn’t like, ‘What happened?’ It was pretty obvious what happened.
“But we couldn’t get over it, like it’s the face of the company? Is he the one who greets people?
Rife’s story continues: “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 like that where no one needs to see her face.” And I was like, “Yeah, but I feel like if she knew how to cook, she wouldn’t have this black eye. “‘
Amid reluctance from members of the crowd, he acknowledged the strong subject matter he was covering in his material, then launched into another routine.
“Testing the water, seeing if you’re all going to be fun or not,” Rife said. “I thought we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should go pretty well.
“Of course I felt bad for her. She should have had her protection crystals, you know what I mean?’
Rife’s joke sparked widespread criticism on Twitter, with many expressing satisfaction at seeing the TikTok sensation in hot water.
One user said: “Matt Rife opens his special with a joke ‘if a woman could cook she wouldn’t have a black eye.’ Really? Is that your god?’
Another said: “The way women catapulted Matt into popularity and the second he gets a comedy special on Netflix he immediately betrays them with a joke about domestic violence…it’s crazy isn’t it.”
One user said: “Matt Rife: my special is for the guys…Immediately opens with a joke about domestic violence.”
One user posted a meme of Stephen Colbert eating popcorn wearing 3D glasses, with the caption: “Witnessed Matt Rife’s downfall after saying from day one that he gave off a ‘boy’ vibe president of the fraternity whose women warn other women.” ‘
Another person said they were surprised by the joke Rife told after thinking it was an “overblown” controversy.
“My tiktok fyp has had a ton of people complaining about Matt Rife’s domestic violence joke, and because of the way my fyp is, I kinda assumed it was over the top,” a declared the user. “When I finally saw the real ‘joke’…I have to apologize, you were all so right.”
One user commented on Rife’s response saying, “BIG YIKES.”
Last week, Rife spoke with Variety in a Q&A in which he said he “doesn’t really buy into all this sensitive buzz in the comedy world that we can’t do anything anymore say”, calling the notion of “bulls***”.
He added: “You can say whatever you want. Now you need to prepare for the repercussions. But ultimately, it all comes down to how you sleep at night. You know what I mean? Other people’s views of you are not your responsibility.
Rife said he goes on stage with the intention of “making people laugh” and is not afraid to tackle topics that could be considered “dark humor.”
Rife said: “I don’t believe there’s anything you can’t talk about if you do it right, in the right way, at the right time.
“You have to be yourself and not be afraid of offending a certain number of people. You might miss a joke that you fear will offend someone, but could win you a million new fans.