Fans Think Matt Rife Took One Bit Too Far In His Raunchy Netflix Special

Comedian Matt Rife is catching the heat following the release of "Natural Selection," his first Netflix comedy special. Rife, who started out in comedy as a teenager, became an internet sensation after sharing videos of his shows on TikTok. "I'm about to post this video of crowd work. I was watching it, and I was like, this is so stupid. Why am I even doing this?" Rife told The New York Times of his initial skepticism. Since then, Rife has enjoyed much success, selling out shows across Europe, Australia, and North America.

With that in mind, it was barely a surprise when, in September 2023, Netflix announced that the comedian had landed an hour-long comedy special called "Matt Rife: Natural Selection." Speaking to Deadline at the time, Rife described the special as "fun," adding that it was a good mix of ridiculous and serious stuff. "I kind of like to end the last of it with something people can think about, and put some thought behind, and give some real perspective on something I genuinely am passionate about, as well as making it funny with a fun story," he explained. "I'd say it's my most fun hour yet. I think people are really going to like it. There's something in there for everybody."

However, it seems Rife made a pretty serious miscalculation, as fans were definitely not impressed by one particular element of the new project.

Fans called Matt Rife out for misogyny

On November 15, Netflix released "Natural Selection," and while a few fans were impressed with the material, many more were outraged. In the show, Rife starts off with a joke about domestic violence, something that unsurprisingly did not sit well with many viewers. "I figure if we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be smooth sailing," he quips in the special. In response, fans have taken to social media, criticizing the comedian's choice of joke. 

"Can't believe Netflix even allowed Matt Rife a special, for him to then use that opportunity to joke about domestic violence [and] put his raging misogyny on blast," one user wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). "Women made Matt Rife's career what it is, and he goes and tells a domestic violence joke in the first 5 mins of his Netflix special," another person tweeted, referencing the comedian's female-dominated fanbase.

Things seemed to take an even uglier turn when Rife offered a cheeky apology, further riling up critics. Taking to Instagram on November 20, Rife shared a post, where he redirected fans to an apology video. "If you've ever been offended by a joke I've told — here is a link to my official apology," Rife wrote. Included was a link labeled "Tap to solve your issue." The link, however, led to a website selling special needs helmets for adults and children. In response to the disingenuous apology, critics accused Rife of mocking his followers and promoting ableism. "Oh good. Ableism to chase the misogyny," one user criticized.

Matt Rife's career has been marred by controversy

Though still a newbie in the world of Hollywood stardom, Matt Rife's career is no stranger to controversy. Following his 2018 split from "Underworld" star Kate Beckinsale, Rife made headlines in 2019 after sending a warning to "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson, who was reportedly dating the actress at the time. "Advice for Pete? Man to man ... run. I hope they're both happy. I hope that it can build to where it's an established relationship," Rife said in an interview with TMZ.

During a March 2023 appearance on the "Stiff Socks" podcast, Rife commented on the size of women's sex organs. "I don't want to look down and feel like God left the tag on you," he said on the show (via Metro). Unsurprisingly, this landed the comedian a lot of backlash from social media users who accused him of holding misogynistic views. As one person wrote on X, "me liking Matt Rife thinking he is handsome and funny, and then he turns out to be a sexist misogynist talk about women's bodies in a s***** way."

Despite the many controversies surrounding him, however, Rife couldn't be less bothered about the constant outrage from fans. "Everyone's feelings are always hurt all the time, and I just don't have it in me to care anymore," he admitted during an appearance on "Cancelled with Tana Mongeau."