Comedian Matt Rife continues to court controversy after his Netflix special “Natural Selection” punched down at women and the LGBTQ+ community, who originally made up the majority of his fan base. He now posted a disparaging comment on lifestyle influencer Bunny Hedaya (@bunnyhedaya)’s TikTok account directed towards her six-year-old son. Hedaya revealed that her young son loves science and learning about outer space, and explained that she posted rare glimpses of him to protect his privacy as a minor.
Rife notoriously had a section of his Netflix special dedicated to making fun of women who follow astrology. One attempted punchline was “Just because Jupiter has a ring and you don’t, doesn’t mean that’s where you look up to for all this magical advice.” Hedaya’s son wanted to duet the video and correct Rife’s planetary comment, as Saturn is actually the planet that has rings. Hedaya’s son closed out the video by saying that Rife is “mean to girls” before walking away.
The video was reposted to Instagram, where Rife left a comment that read “Jupiter also has ring. OH!….and Santa Clais isn’t real. Your mom buys you presents with the money she makes on OnlyFans. Good Luck🤪.” Hedaya, who seldom discusses other figures in internet culture and entertainment, immediately jumped to her son’s defense. She proceeded to call Rife out for assuming that all women online are sex workers, and for insinuating that he looked down upon the percentage of women who are. Most importantly, she offered pointed commentary on Rife’s seemingly negative perception of his once predominantly female audience, and disrespect of women and children.
The comedian opened “Natural Selection” with a joke about domestic violence. 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.
In the weeks since the special first ruffled feathers, Rife has managed to further insult his critics when he posted a photo of himself from the special, captioned “if you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told–here’s a link to my official apology.” The link, labeled “tap to solve your issue”, redirects Instagram users to a listing for “special needs” helmets. This was intended to insinuate that any of his critics must have something wrong with them, and also an insult to those living with disabilities. The term “special needs” has been widely condemned by disability rights activists in recent years, and is often perceived to be offensive.
Following the fallout of the special, Chicago based plastic surgeon Dr. Benjamin Caughlin MD, FACS (@manyfacesofchicago) posted a now mega viral video to the tune of Bridgit Mendler’s “Hurricane,” in which he claims to have created a “beautiful” jawline for someone only for them to get “cancelled” shortly afterwards.
In response to the video, fans of the surgeon and critics of Rife took note of the “comedian” hashtag, and assumed the video referenced Rife. In a now deleted comment, the comedian wrote “lying about medical history is illegal, just FYI.” Before Rife could delete the comment, thousands had screenshotted it.
The comedian frequently speaks about his changing appearance from his teenage years to his 20s, and has previously confirmed that he got veneers. However, he continues to deny ever having had plastic surgery, and chocks up his “glow up” to aging and working out. Even without naming names, some think that Dr. Caughlin begs to differ.
matt rife and his plastic surgeon are beefing pic.twitter.com/7dtiDS3tBs
— kate bush's husband (@airbagged) November 28, 2023
The comedian is yet to apologize for his most recent comments regarding Hedaya’s son.