Matt Rife’s Netflix Special Faces Backlash Over Controversial Jokes

Comedian Matt Rife’s new Netflix special, Natural Selection, has garnered attention and criticism due to jokes about domestic violence and abuse.

Matt Rife, a rising star in the comedy world and popular TikTok personality, has found himself at the center of controversy with his latest Netflix special, Natural Selection. Despite its success, earning the No. 2 spot on Netflix’s global top 10 list with 7.4 million views in its debut week, the special has faced backlash for several jokes that make light of sensitive topics. Rife’s response to the criticism has only added fuel to the fire, intensifying the uproar surrounding his comedy.

Who is Matt Rife?

Matt Rife gained fame through social media, boasting 18.2 million followers on TikTok and 6.4 million followers on Instagram. He leveraged his popularity to produce self-made comedy specials, including Matt Rife: Only Fans, which premiered on YouTube in December 2021. Rife has also made appearances on popular shows like MTV’s Wild ‘n Out and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The Controversial Jokes from Natural Selection:

Natural Selection, filmed at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., opens with Rife recounting a visit to a restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, where he encountered a hostess with a black eye. Rife jokes about the situation, suggesting that if the hostess could cook, she wouldn’t have a black eye. While some audience members laughed, others criticized Rife for making light of domestic violence.

Rife’s Response to the Criticism:

In an interview with Variety, Rife acknowledged that Natural Selection might appeal more to men, despite his overwhelmingly female TikTok following. He emphasized that his comedy is intended for everyone and aims to cater to a broad demographic. However, Rife did not directly address the controversy surrounding his jokes about domestic violence.

The Controversial Instagram Posts:

Rife’s response to the criticism on Instagram only added fuel to the fire. In an Instagram Story, he posted a link titled “Tap to solve your issue,” which led viewers to a medical website selling helmets for people with special needs, instead of an apology. Hours later, Rife posted another Instagram Story, stating, “We on the naughty list,” and providing a new link that redirected followers to his YouTube page, where a comedy clip titled “Bad Santa” was posted.


Matt Rife’s Netflix special, Natural Selection, has sparked controversy due to jokes about domestic violence and abuse. The comedian’s response to the criticism has only intensified the uproar, as his Instagram posts seemed to mock the issue rather than address it directly. While Rife’s comedy may have resonated with some viewers, the controversy surrounding his jokes raises important questions about the boundaries of humor and the responsibility of comedians in addressing sensitive topics.






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