Comedian Matt Rife claims that his latest project, a comedy special for Netflix, is “for everybody.” It seems that “everybody” disagrees. Well, not quite everybody, but a whole lot of people.

Rife gained popularity by posting on TikTok and Instagram. Many of his original fans were women, but he wants to prove that he’s more than a pretty face. This 28-year-old comic believes that his Netflix special, titled “Natural Selection,” is really “way more for guys.”

Rife’s Netflix special was filmed at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in September, and it was released on Netflix on November 15, 2023. Unfortunately for Rife, his special isn’t the hit he hoped it would be. Instead, it has created quite a lot of backlash against him, and a lot of that is due to a joke he told within the first few minutes of his stand up comedy show.

He told a joke about domestic violence, and many people didn’t find it funny. Here’s the joke: “I’ve only been to Baltimore one time, I ate lunch there, and the hostess who like seats you at the restaurant had a black eye. A full black eye. And it wasn’t like, ‘What happened?’ It was pretty obvious what happened.”

“And we couldn’t get over the fact that we’re like, ‘This is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?’ 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, ya know?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.’”

In response to the joke, the crowd let out a mixed reaction of groans and laughs. Rife responded, “Just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not. Just wanted to see. I figure we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be pretty smooth sailing after that.”

Due to the backlash about the domestic violence joke, Rife posted a fake apology on Instagram. He claimed that he was sharing a link to his “official apology.” He was not. In fact, the link was to a website that sells helmets for people with special needs.

Do you think Rife’s joke was in poor taste? Do you think the backlash from this joke will hurt his career or just make him more popular due to all the publicity he’s getting about his comedy special on Netflix due to this arguably inappropriate joke?