Comedian Matt Rife saw a huge rise in popularity at the beginning of 2023 thanks to his viral crowd work videos across social media — garnering over 18 million followers on TikTok in just under a year.

Everything was seemingly going well for the Wild N Out veteran — up until his Netflix special hit the screens. Natural Selection, which aired on November 15, is an hour long stand-up show that highlighted Matt’s disdain for “protection crystals” and delved into “his beef with social media trolls,” according to the show’s log line.

Keep reading for a complete explainer on Matt’s recent controversies.

Matt Rife Netflix Special Backlash Explained

At the beginning of his special, the 28-year-old comedian tells a story about visiting a “ratchet” Baltimore restaurant when he notices that his server had a black eye. Matt, alongside one of his friends, question why the restaurant would allow one of their workers to be out on the main floor. “But we couldn’t get over, like, this is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?” He continues, “they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face.” He finishes his joke saying, “Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.”

As some audience members gasped in shock, Matt followed up the joke saying, “Just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not … I figure if we start the show with domestic violence the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”

This specific joke garnered a lot of backlash on social media. Matt took to Instagram to seemingly apologize for the joke, however, it’s hard to call it an apology.

He wrote, “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told, here’s a link to my official apology.” The link directs the user to a website where one could purchase special needs helmets. This type of mockery did not sit well for many.

Reps for Matt did not immediately respond to J-14‘s request for comment.

Did Matt Rife Fight With a Six Year Old?

Amidst the backlash from his comments, a clip from his special went viral on TikTok of the comedian making fun of women who use astrology as an excuse to make “poor decision[s].” In the clip he states, “It has nothing to do with the stars, man. Just because Jupiter has a ring and you don’t doesn’t mean that’s what you’re supposed to look up to for this magical advice.”

TikToker Bunny Hedaya caught herself amongst the controversy when her six-year-old child reacted to the clip. In the stitch, her son Aiden called out the comedian for his lack of knowledge of planets. He added, “Actually, it’s Saturn that has the rings. And it has more also, and you’re mean to girls.” Bunny also shared his comeback to her Instagram account.

It seems that Matt didn’t find Aiden’s video to be funny … The comedian allegedly commented under their video saying, “Jupiter also has [a] ring. OH!… and Santa [Claus] isn’t real. Your mom buys you presents with the money she makes on OnlyFans. Good luck.”

Bunny responded to Matt’s comment in a video where she addressed his Netflix controversy and called out his rude behavior towards his audience. “I will gladly take your audience, because we know you can’t satisfy them anyways,” she said. “You can’t accept the fact that people may like women for their personalities, knowing we know you don’t have one… I’m richer than you, and I didn’t have to pay for a Forbes article to fake it.”

Bunny’s comments come after the comedian’s controversial interview with Variety where he addressed his feelings towards having a predominantly female fanbase.

“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 explained. “In the beginning yes, because I did blow up on TikTok which is very female dominant. So, I get that perspective.”

He continued, “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.”

Brooke Schofield Accuses Matt Rife of Allegedly Cheating On Her With ‘20 Women’

Matt has, once again come under fire, for another reason. Brooke Schofield, a popular YouTuber who allegedly dated Matt in the beginning of 2023, made startling allegations about the comedian while on her podcast that she cohosts with Tana Mongeau, titled “Cancelled” on December 8. In the episode, Brooke alleges that Matt was talking to “20 women” while they were together.

She explained that while she was on TikTok, she came across a video of another girl with Matt. After snooping in the comments, the girl in the video claimed that she was seeing the comedian at “the beginning of the year.” Brooke then DMed the TikToker asking for a “timeline” of their relationship. She was then added to a group chat with other “beautiful, strange women” who claimed to have been with Matt.

“There were timelines, there were Venn diagrams, we were comparing notes. It was so crazy.” Brooke continued, “For a man who doesn’t have time, this man had the most time.”

Despite going through major controversies in recent weeks, Matt’s comedy career seemingly hasn’t been affected. On December 13, Netflix announced that Matt would headline Joke Fest this coming spring.

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