As social media gets more pervasive there is a lot of money to be made by the people who are good at it. Unfortunately, good doesn’t always mean honest. What is good about the success for joke and content thieves though is a general reckoning by the folks who have been wronged. The exposure brings about publicity — and if you are a joke thief online, the internet equates you instantly with child predators and Hitler, not exactly flattering company.
Josh Ostrovsky, who goes by the handle The Fat Jew or @TheFatJewish on Instagram is having a reckoning. In the wake of getting signed by talent agency CAA, reports are surfacing that Ostrovsky has no business being successful because his talent comes from ripping off the jokes of others.
Gawker in particular writes a scathing piece demonstrating how Ostrovsky cuts and pastes jokes written by others in social media and passes them off as his own on an account where doing so has helped him raise a following of over 5.7 million followers. In their piece on the matter, they point out numerous instances where by posting the words from the post exactly, you can usually find the original source from where The Fat Jewish stole the pic from. One of the comedians sourced by the scandal rag, Davon Magwood writes (via Gawker):
“If it’s my stuff you’re posting, and if you give me credit, then I get traffic to my site, maybe that traffic goes to my comedy album and then I get paid for my work! You make money from the traffic you generate and guess what, I’d also would like to be paid and credited for the traffic that I’ve generated. I shouldn’t have to asked to be credit for my work, neither should other comedians or clever social media people. You should assume that If I’m posting online that I want credit for whatever you share. Twitter has this neat thing called “ReTweet” where you share what I’ve tweeted or you can tag me in a post.
I’m not producing shit so you can make more money off of my work, no one is. If you want to post other peoples stuff, go right on ahead, just make sure you don’t crop out their twitter handles. I have a girlfriend-with-fetus to clothe and feed.”
Of course, much content is stolen by the internet and reposted as their own, which no one likes either, but the difference here is money. Th Fat Jewish profits off his e-crimes. Remember how popular Carlos Mencia was for a moment? And then all the accusations started coming out about him being a joke thief? Now he can’t cut in line at a Sizzler. If the statements being made about The Fat Jew are correct, it will be interesting to see how it impacts his career trajectory going forward.
Allegedly he had a deal in place for a special on Comedy Central that was recently cancelled because of the controversies that are emerging. Sounds like karma might just be real after all.