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Matt Rife says comedians ‘can say whatever’ as he addresses backlash to 'offensive' joke from Netflix special
Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Matt Rife says comedians ‘can say whatever’ as he addresses backlash to 'offensive' joke from Netflix special

The comedian responded to backlash to the joke with a mock apology

Comedian Matt Rife spoke about what comedians can and can't say prior to his Netflix show sparking fury online.

People heavily criticised Rife after he made a joke about domestic violence in his Netflix special Natural Selection.

The video below contains references to domestic violence.

The joke in question came at the start of the set, with Rife 'testing the water, seeing if y'all are going to be fun or not'.

The controversial 'joke' was about a waitress in Baltimore who had a black eye.

He says in the special: "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.'"

Many Netflix viewers were disgusted by the routine.

One said it was 'pandering to the lowest of the low', while another said: "Domestic violence is *never* a joke."

Rife made a joke about domestic violence at the start of his show.

In an interview with Variety before the set went live on Netflix, Rife revealed some of his thoughts on the debate around comedians telling offensive jokes.

The 28-year-old said: “I don’t really adhere to this whole sensitivity rumor in the comedy world that you can’t say anything anymore.

“You can say whatever you want. Now, you have to prepare for repercussions. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to how do you sleep at night.”

In this case, the 'repercussions' were only exacerbated after Rife posted a response to the criticism on his Instagram story.

He said: "If you've ever been offended by a joke I've told, here's a link to my official apology."

The link takes you to a website selling 'special needs helmets', which are worn by people with learning difficulties.

Careful you don't cut yourself on that edge, bro.

Matt Rife responds to the backlash.
Instagram / Matt Rife

He went on to argue that the content of his jokes is not important, because 'everything comes down to intent'.

He added: “I know for me, everything that leaves my mouth on stage is purely with the intention of making people laugh. It’s never any deeper, never any more or never any less than that. That’s all it is to me.

“I don’t believe there’s anything you can’t talk about if you do it correctly, in the right way, at the right time."

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: Netflix, News, US News, Matt Rife