Controversial comedian signs massive deal with Netflix despite backlash
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Film News

Controversial comedian signs massive deal with Netflix despite backlash

Following the success of his debut Netflix special, the streaming giant has decided to sign a massive deal with controversial comedian Matt Rife. His special, Natural Selection, brought in 10+million views within just two weeks of being on the platform and climbed into the top ten charts in 42 countries. 

This only represents a fraction of Rife’s success in recent years, as thanks to his content on social media, the comic has become the most viewed across all platforms. He has over 33m followers and 2billion views, which puts him in an exclusive group with Taylor Swift as one of the only two people to break Ticketmaster due to the demand for his tour being so high. 

He is currently on the ProblemMATTic World Tour, which allows him to travel across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. He will play sold-out shows at the Dolby Theatre, Radio City Music Hall and Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena. 

Capitalising on his success, Netflix has signed Rife to do two more specials on their platform and is developing a gym/workplace-based comedy series in which he will write and star in. News of him starring in his own series shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given he recently said in an interview with Deadline that he prefers acting over stand-up. 

“I love acting just so much, if not more than stand-up. I just haven’t been doing it as long and I haven’t been able to get my foot in the door as well as I have with stand-up,” he said, addressing why he is so prominent in the stand-up world but not in acting. He went on to say he intends to focus a lot more on acting, “But now that I have the freedom in success via stand-up, it opens up avenues in other areas that I am passionate about, like film and television, that I’m hoping I can make that transition over to, because it can only feed itself.” 

While many fans will be happy to see Rife doing more work with Netflix, given the controversy that some of his jokes in his stand-up led to, many would rather he not put out more specials. On Natural Selection, Rife received a lot of backlash over a joke he made about domestic violence. He said after the joke, “I figure if we start the show with domestic violence the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.” 

While the joke offended many people, Rife’s apology only fuelled the fire, as he wrote on Instagram, “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told, here’s a link to my official apology.” The link, when pressed, took people to a website where they could purchase helmets. 

Rife’s next comedy special is expected to air later in the year. News surrounding the second special and new sitcom will follow.