Comedian Matt Rife faced severe criticism on social media after making a joke about domestic violence during his recently-released Netflix special, "Natural Selection." The joke in question, which many deemed sexist and offensive, involved Rife commenting on a hostess in Baltimore who had a black eye. Rife's punchline insinuated that if she could cook, she wouldn't have had a black eye.
Following the controversy, Rife took to Instagram to respond. In an Instagram Stories post, he shared a link to a website selling helmets for people with special needs and offered an apparent apology. He also acknowledged the strong subject matter he covered in his routine, stating that it was a test to gauge the audience's reaction.
The backlash against Rife spread like wildfire on Twitter, with users expressing their disappointment and shock over the offensive joke. Many users criticized Rife for his insensitivity towards victims of domestic violence and questioned his comedic judgment. The TikTok sensation found himself in a whirlwind of negative attention, with some users reveling in his apparent downfall.
While Rife previously expressed in an interview that he doesn't adhere to the sensitivity surrounding comedy, he justified his stance by stating that comedic freedom comes with consequences. Despite his bold approach, he claimed that his intention is always to make people laugh and that he believes no topic is off-limits if handled correctly.
This incident underscores the ongoing debate around the boundaries of comedy and the responsibility of comedians to consider the potential impact of their jokes. While some argue for free speech in comedy, others stress the importance of sensitivity and respect when dealing with sensitive subjects such as domestic violence.
As the controversy continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how Rife's response and future actions will shape his career and public image.