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Matt Rife gains more than 200,000 followers despite backlash to 'offensive' Netflix special
Featured Image Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images / Netflix

Matt Rife gains more than 200,000 followers despite backlash to 'offensive' Netflix special

The comedian made a 'joke' about domestic violence before 'apologizing' by linking to a site selling special needs helmets

Matt Rife has gained more than 200,000 followers on Instagram since his controversial 'joke' sparked anger online.

The comedian took to Netflix for a special called Natural Selection, and opened the show with a 'joke' about domestic violence.

It consisted of an anecdote where he and a friend were at a restaurant in Baltimore and served by a waitress with a black eye.

Warning: the video below contains references to domestic violence

He said: "My boy, who I was with, was like: 'Yeah, I feel bad for her, man, I feel like they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face'.

"And I was like: 'Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn't have that black eye'."

The opening left many viewers disgusted, and it only got worse when Rife posted a mocking 'apology' to Instagram.

This consisted of him posting a link to his 'official apology', which was actually a website selling helmets worn by people with special needs.

But it seems that the rage-baiting has paid off, with the comedian gaining more than 200,000 followers on Instagram in the wake of the special.

Matt Rife has gained 200k followers on Instagram.

Rife had previously made a name for himself on TikTok, where people posted clips of his crowd work.

For many, the Netflix special was the first time seeing him doing actual stand-up material.

The comedian has previously spoken about his online videos primarily being viewed by a female audience, something he has gone out of his way to distance himself from.

He told Variety: “One of the biggest misconceptions of things I get ridiculed online for is people are like ‘oh, he only has a female fan base'."

He admitted: “In the beginning yes, because I did blow up on TikTok which is very female dominant…So, I get that perspective.

Matt Rife doubled down on the domestic violence 'joke'.
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

"But when you come to the shows, I mean, it’s 50/50. It’s couples coming out. It’s groups of dudes who are coming."

He added that he had intended the show to be more aimed towards a male audience, adding: "And that’s one thing that I wanted to tackle in this special was showing people that like despite what you think about me online, I don’t pander my career to women.”

Even without the controversy, a Netflix special would be sure to expose a comedian to a wider audience than they had previously had.

Going viral for saying something that 'you can't say' is certainly one way to generate controversy, and by extension traffic. Who needs wit when you have that?

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 247

Topics: News, US News, Netflix, Matt Rife