Drew Afualo built a platform on TikTok around taking down toxic masculinity and calling out misogyny online. Afualo’s mission recently culminated in her popular podcast “The Comment Section”, which offers deeper dives into these issues, and guest appearances from fellow digital creators. Now, Afualo is responding to the most high profile misogyny allegations of the week–comedian Matt Rife‘s Netflix special “Natural Selection.”
im just a silly female tho so idk anything about comedy 🤪 LMFAOOOOOOOO
Afualo referenced Rife’s string of controversies leading up to the Netflix special, and asserted that she was not surprised by his material’s offensive nature. The podcast appearance she referred to occurred several months ago. 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 appearance.
Afualo’s post was met with a mix of support from her intersectional feminist following and comments from Rife’s fans who feel that comedians should not have to apologize for their material. The TikTok creator and podcaster made a follow up video regarding the criticism of her handling of Rife’s controversies. Afualo also asserted that Rife’s alienation of his original female audience could prove detrimental from a business perspective.
Replying to @wiggedoutteacher let’s all be serious for once in our lives pls LMFAOOOOOOOOOOO
The opening joke in Rife’s special 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.
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.
After days of mass criticism online, Rife then responded to his critics with another insult towards a marginalized community–people living with disabilities. Instead of apologizing following the mass backlash he continues to receive, Rife posted an Instagram story that stoked the fire even further.
The post, which was intended as a joke, is now being slammed for its perceived ableism. The comedian 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.
Afualo reminded her viewers that it is important to women to find unity in community, and not settle for powerful men making disparaging remarks about them.
i do LOVE being a silly goofy female so let’s do it lmfaoooooooooooooo
Rife is yet to respond to Afualo’s videos regarding his comedy special.