Matt Rife Attracts Criticism For Domestic Violence Joke In Netflix Special ‘Natural Selection’

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Comedian Matt Rife is coming under fire again for a joke he made regarding domestic violence in the opening of his Netflix comedy special “Natural Selection.” The comedian had his first taste of fame after a number of clips from his stand up comedy sets went viral on TikTok, at first attracting a predominantly female audience.


He ate with that one Wednesday Addams joke a year ago and that wasnt even him, that was cause a baddie stole the show #netflix #mattrife

♬ original sound – 📺

The joke entailed a story about a restaurant hostess who had a black eye, which Rife quips she must have gotten from a man she could not cook for. The layered trivialization of domestic violence and perceived sexism have shrouded the Netflix special with criticism. Ahead of its release, Rife spoke about his intention to make the special more for a male audience, after primarily women flocked to his stand up shows nationwide.


The perfect picture of misogyny at work: you can let women bring you to the top and then shit on them for the approval of other men. #strugglecare #mattrife #misogyny

♬ original sound – Kc Davis


His jokes about relationships, sexuality, and his childhood were first regarded as tasteful, until he began making a series of controversial comments in recent months. Months prior to the series of controversial jokes made in the special, the comedian appeared as a guest on the “Stiff Socks” podcast, here he discussed his type in women. He went into minute physical detail, and insulted female anatomy. The comedian now continues to reckon with being called out for alleged misogyny since this podcast appearance.


Not caring about the belt any longer #mattrife

♬ Originalton – pri.mina

The podcasters defended Rife’s comments, claiming that it was simply “guys being guys.” Their response was widely criticized on social media. The “locker room talk” excuse came under critical examination in the public eye in mid 2010s, after former U.S. President Donald Trump used the same phrase after he was caught making vulgar comments about women backstage with former television host Billy Bush ahead of the election.


Social Media Reactions

The comedian is being widely slammed for opening the special with a joke about domestic violence.


Bro. #mattrife

♬ original sound – Dan

Outside of the disturbing opening statement, he went on to poke fun at Mercury retrogrades in astrology, crystals and spirituality, and a series of other typically women’s interests. Many found this particularly insulting, as it is his female audience who is in part responsible for his commercial success.


Astrology girlies are the sweetest and Matt Rife is better than this #mattrife #astrology #comedy

♬ original sound – reuben

Others who have worked at comedy clubs are coming forward and sharing their experiences working with Rife, and few have anything positive to say.


#stitch with @Kiera Breaugh #greenscreen #mattrife

♬ original sound – JJ


Some critics feel that Rife is simply better at crowd work and that the pre-written format of a Netflix special does not suit his style.

Amid the degrading comments made about women throughout the special, many accuse Rife of pandering to men in the comedy special, even going as far as accusing him of turning to misogyny for validation.

Rife is only reposting positive commentary on the special, which appears far and few between, despite the special taking the number two spot on Netflix for viewrship. In typical fashion, the comedian has not addressed the controversy at this time.

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