Matt Rife Faces Backlash From Fans For 'Touching' Zendaya In Resurfaced MTV Clip

Matt Rife Faces Backlash For 'Touching' Zendaya In Resurfaced MTV Clip

Home / Entertainment / Matt Rife Faces Backlash For 'Touching' Zendaya In Resurfaced MTV Clip

By Favour Adegoke on November 23, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST

Comedian Matt Rife is catching major heat for a resurfaced MTV clip from years ago that seemingly shows inappropriate behavior towards Hollywood star Zendaya.

The Ohio comic was recently slammed by fans for making a sexist joke in his new Netflix documentary "Natural Selection," as they pointed out that he was promoting domestic violence.

Rife further angered fans by sharing a fake apology note on Instagram with a link to a website that sells "special needs helmets."

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Matt Rife Blasted For Touching Zendaya In Resurfaced Clip

Comedian Matt Rife Gets Slammed For Sexist 'Black Eye' Joke In His Netflix Special
Instagram | Matt Rife

The comedian has come under fire for what some fans are calling inappropriate behavior towards actress Zendaya during their time on MTV's "Wild 'n Out."

The controversial clip in question showed Rife and the "Spider-Man: No Way Home" star engaging in a banter on the show where he was required to make her spit out the water in her mouth to score points for his team. 

Zendaya, 18 years old at the time, sat with an unmoved and unbothered demeanor as Rife did all he could to make her laugh.

"Hey Zendaya, I'm Nick Cannon," he began. "Nah, f--- that, I'm Matt motherf----- Rife, alright!"

As he approached the actress, he added, "You're mixed, I wanna be Black, let's make a lifestyle movie."

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When he noticed that his efforts to wind her up proved abortive, he grabbed her by her chin and yelled, "Spit that water out so I can get your number, please!"

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Zendaya was notably seen with a disapproving look towards Rife as her teammates rushed to her aid and told him not to "touch her like that."

"I didn't touch her... She can handle herself!" Rife tried to defend himself.

Following his recent jokes about domestic violence, fans took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to call out Rife for touching Zendaya.

One person said, "The way they immediately jumped when he touched her…they know something."

Another X user wrote, "To each their own, but how Matt Rife treated Zendaya on Wild 'N Out is what did it for me."

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Matt Rife Slammed For Making A Sexist Joke

Comedian Matt Rife Slammed For Sexist 'Black Eye' Joke In His Netflix Special

It comes after Rife recently angered fans following the release of his latest comedy special, "Natural Selection," for making a sexist joke. The comedian's attempts at humor backfired after he tried to recount when he met a hostess with a black eye at a restaurant during one of his travels.

"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 narrated.

"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,'" Rife added.

The "Burb Patrol" star went on to troll the said woman, saying, "She should have had her protection crystal," but that didn't register well with fans.

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Matt Rife's Response To Backlash Escalates Controversy

Matt Rife Faces Backlash For 'Mocking Disabled Kids' In Response To Critics Of His 'Black Eye' Joke
Instagram Stories | Matt Rife

Following the uproar from fans, Rife found himself in hot water again for his response to the backlash over the sexist joke in his recent comedy special. 

Instead of quelling the controversy, he chose to double down, further angering fans by making a disability-related comment.

Rife took to his Instagram Stories on Monday to share a fake apology with fans, writing, "If you've ever been offended by a joke I've told, here's a link to my official apology," before adding a link that leads to a website selling "special needs helmets."

Fans were quick to express their disappointment, with many accusing the comedian of insensitivity and a lack of understanding.

Matt Rife Says His Comedy Special Is Geared More Towards Men

In a recent interview with Variety, Rife seemingly stirred the pot by asserting that his latest comedy special is "way more for guys" than women.

The comic, who rose to fame on TikTok with his crowd work videos and has amassed more than 17 million followers on the platform, said he's often "ridiculed online" over the "misconceptions" that his fan base is female-dominated because of his popularity on TikTok, but he begged to differ.

"When you come to the shows, I mean, it's 50/50. 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, showing people that, despite what you think about me online, I don't pander my career to women," he said. "I would argue this special is way more for guys."

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He added that he believes his comedy special is for "everybody," and if people gave it an "opportunity" without any preconceived notions, they would "like it."

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