Matt Rife's Netflix special Natural Selection was met with severe backlash as a result of a disturbing bit about domestic violence, but the comedian made matters even worse when he made an "apology" in the form of an ableist joke.
It's no secret that women were the driving force behind Rife's rise in popularity. His audience interactions, specifically flirting with women, captured the hearts of ladies everywhere.
Mostly thanks to them, Rife has a solid career.
Rife told Men's Health, however, that being attractive can be a burden.
"I started working out way after I was doing stand-up. I've been doing stand-up for a little over 12 years now."
"I will say I don't think it helps you by any means - people don't want to laugh at physically attractive people. You don't want to walk on stage and have people looking at your arms rather than listening to your jokes."
He claimed that being so attractive forces him to work even harder on his comedy.
Needless to say, that didn't go over well with men.
But Rife argued that his popularity with the ladies doesn't keep his male fans from coming out to support him.
Rife told Variety:
"One of the biggest misconceptions of things I get ridiculed online for is people are like, 'Oh, he only has a female fanbase.'"
"In the beginning, yes, because I did blow up on TikTok which is very female dominant."
He said much of his new material was created to also appeal to men.
"It's couples coming out. It's groups of dudes who are coming."
"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."
"I would argue this special is way more for guys."
Enter Natural Selection.
How did Rife steer his comedy to gain the support of the fellas, you ask?
By joking about domestic violence.
In the Netflix special, which was filmed in Washington, D.C., Rife delivered a bit about "beautiful" Maryland and "ratchet" Baltimore.
"I've only been to Baltimore one time, and the hostess who seats you had a black eye. A full black eye."
"It wasn't like, 'What happened?' It was pretty obvious what happened."
"We couldn't get over, like, this is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?
Rife went on:
"And 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.'"
Given the audience's reaction, he then said:
"Testing the water, seeing if y'all are going to be fun or not."
"I figured we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be pretty smooth sailing."
You can watch below.
He then quipped that the woman "should have had her protection crystals" before blasting women who are into astrology.
Viewers were definitely not entertained.
It didn't take long for Rife to address the backlash. In fact, he took to his Instagram stories to share what he said was a link to an apology.
The story read:
"If you've ever been offended by a joke I've told - here's a link to my official apology."
The text link said:
"TAP TO SOLVE YOUR ISSUE"
That link directed to a medical supply web page for special needs helmets.
Yes, Rife apologized for joking about domestic violence by making an ableist joke.
People online were outraged, as well.
Rife has yet to respond to requests for comment. That's probably for the best.