matt rife controversies

A complete rundown of all Matt Rife’s controversies as his Netflix special gets dragged

A clip of Matt teasing Zendaya has resurfaced from 2015


Love him or hate him, Matt Rife is literally everywhere at the minute and has really come into some hot water recently. But you wouldn’t be blamed for needing a minute to catch up on what’s going on.

With TikTok fame and a recent Netflix special under his belt, it’s hard to believe that some people still don’t know who this bloke is. Maybe it’s because you don’t recognise him after his wild transformation, or maybe you just don’t watch stand up – but either way, he’s walking on the slippery slope towards cancel culture and this is why. Here are all of the controversies Matt Rife has encountered during his career.

Matt made uncomfortable jokes toward Zendaya and touched her face on a TV show

So throwing it back to 2015, when he was just 19, Matt appeared on the gameshow Wild ‘N Out with Zendaya, who of course needs no introduction. The show saw contestants being split into two teams, with one person from each team holding water in their mouth, and the other team being tasked with making them laugh.

And footage of the comedian has of course been dug up and shared on TikTok, with viewers being less than impressed with Matt’s comedy tactics. In an attempt to get Zendaya to spit her water out, Matt chimes “Look, you’re mixed, I want to be black, let’s make a lifestyle movie”. Failing to get more than a smile off her, he then moves towards Zendaya, touching her jaw and saying “Spit that water out so I can get your number, please.”

Zendaya’s teammates didn’t miss a beat, jumping up and telling Matt to “back up” after he touched her face. Zendaya can be seen keeping her cool, instead wagging her finger at him. Matt’s teammates commented on his behaviour at the time, adding that they too thought it was out of line. One said on the show: “That was definitely a bomb, not only a bomb for the audience but everybody on the cast was like: ‘Woah, chill man.'”

Fans are now connecting the dots and are discussing on X (formerly Twitter) how it was in fact the now famous Matt Rife who competed against Zendaya on the show, and that if they had realised it was Matt on the show, they would have “instantly hated him”.

Matt recently joked about domestic violence on his new Netflix special

Perhaps realising he hadn’t hit headlines for a while, Matt pulled out all the stops for his new Netflix stand up show, Natural Selection. But one of his jokes rubbed viewers the wrong way, as in the special he tells a story about taking a flight where the air stewardess had a black eye.

He said: “A full black eye. It wasn’t like, ‘What happened?’ It was pretty obvious what happened.

“But we couldn’t get over, like, this is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?”

He then continued: “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.'”

Many viewers weren’t happy at the comedian for the domestic violence joke, taking to Twitter to voice their concerns.

The charity Women’s Aid even commented on the ordeal, using Matt as an example of people being unaware of the severity of domestic abuse. They. wrote: “Domestic abuse is no joke. Conversation about @mattrife shows many people do not understand the severity of domestic abuse, & the impact these ‘jokes’ have on women feeling able to reach out for support. The shocking truth is three women a fortnight are killed by their partner or ex.”

Matt then made a further joke in a fake apology he posted to Instagram

Posting on his Instagram story, Matt Rife addressed these controversies in a satire apology.

He wrote: “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told, here’s a link to my official apology,” accompanied with a link with the text “Tap to solve the issue” which directed users to a health website which sold “special needs helmets”.

Everyone thinks Matt got plastic surgery after a comment he made on a doctor’s TikTok

Now, in an odd turn of events, people are amused at Matt’s latest activity on TikTok which saw him comment on a video made by a plastic surgeon. The video saw the surgeon skipping with joy, captioned: “Me after creating the greatest jawline ever seen just for my patient to get cancelled right after…”.

The video was captioned “He shall not be named… #cancelled #jawlinecheck #comedian #standup #celeb”, leading many to believe that Dr Ben was referring to Matt Rife.

And whilst Matt was never tagged or mentioned in the video, he clearly couldn’t resist the bait, perhaps assuming the post could have been directed towards himself and commented “Lying about medical history is illegal, just FYI”. But Matt has since deleted the comment.

Users on X have since lapped this up, amused that Matt commented on Dr Ben’s TikTok joking about plastic surgery, despite the nature of his recent jokes in his set.

Yikes. It seems like we might not have seen the last of controversies by Matt Rife just yet.

Matt Rife has been contacted for comment.

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Featured image via Instagram @mattrife