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Matt Rife: Natural Selection controversy comedian Netflix stand-up special explained

Comedian Matt Rife's Netflix special sparks controversy with jokes about domestic violence and his response to backlash. Viral content.

Matt Rife has been making waves in the comedy world, but his new Netflix special, Natural Selection, has sparked controversy. Despite reaching the No. 2 spot on Netflix's global top 10 list and garnering 7.4 million views in its debut week, the hour-long comedy show has faced criticism for jokes that make light of domestic violence and abuse.

Rife's rise to fame began in the world of social media, with millions of followers on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. He successfully parlayed his popularity into self-produced comedy specials, which paved the way for his Netflix success. However, the jokes in Natural Selection have drawn backlash, particularly from those who find them problematic.

The special opens with a joke about a trip to Baltimore, where Rife and a friend encounter a hostess with a black eye at a restaurant. This sets the tone for the controversial humor that follows. While some audience members laughed, others were quick to criticize Rife's willingness to joke about domestic violence, especially against women.

In an interview with Variety, Rife acknowledged that Natural Selection might be more popular with men, despite his predominantly female fan base on TikTok. He emphasized that he aims to make his comedy accessible to everyone, not catering to a specific demographic. However, his response to the controversy has only fueled further outrage.

Rife's attempts at humor on social media, including misleading links and cryptic Instagram posts, have not quelled the controversy. He has not directly addressed the backlash or the specific issues raised by his jokes in the special. Despite Yahoo Entertainment's attempts to reach out to Netflix and Rife's representatives for comment, no responses have been received.

As Rife navigates the fallout from his controversial special, the public's reaction raises important questions about the boundaries of comedy and the responsibility of comedians to consider the impact of their jokes. The controversy surrounding Natural Selection serves as a reminder that humor, especially when tackling sensitive topics like domestic violence, requires thoughtful and considerate delivery.

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