Popular social media star ‘The Fat Jew’ addressed the accusations from critics that he steals jokes and is not the original creator of his work. The Instagram celebrity told Vulture in a recent interview that is was never his intention to pass off other people’s work as his own. Josh Ostrovsky, who goes by the name ‘The Fat Jew’ on Instagram, has been heavily criticized for posting pictures, memes and jokes to his Instagram without properly citing the work of the original creators. The accusations initially came from struggling comedians who felt they were not properly rewarded or cited for the content Ostrovsky posted to his Instagram account. Immediately after, many websites came out accusing the social media icon of joke theft.
Ostrovsky labels himself as a commentator & curator of the hottest things on the web and not a comedian. He spoke with Vulture in an exclusive interview, explaining his stance on the changing environment of social aggregation and the role he plays.
“The internet is a vast ocean of stuff, and sometimes it’s hard to find the original source of something. I now realize that if I couldn’t find a source for something, I probably shouldn’t have posted it in the first place.”
Comedian Brett Druck, who recently created the Twitter handle @FitJew that is dedicated to calling out Ostrovsky’s stolen work, recently spoke on the issue,
“He’ll still have the influence of 6 million people who are mostly oblivious that he’s needlessly profiting off of other people’s creativity. Any ‘aggregator’ could easily amass that same influence while keeping the creators’ names in there. It’s greed. He needs his social media accounts suspended.”
Ostrovsky acknowledges he probably shouldn’t of posted things without knowing a source’s origin. When asked if he had ever stolen a joke knowingly, he said,
“I mean, no, not intentionally. If something was heard and written down, then that’s probably what happened. I didn’t realize that if you don’t have a source for something, then you couldn’t necessarily post it.”
Hey guys: how’s your week been? Mine, not so great. That’s because memes. Basically, there’s a debate going on, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the matter, because it’s an important one – for both artists, writers, and commentators of popular culture. So read the @nymag article in my bio, think about it, and remember: Donald Trump is still an asshole. (Photo: @dkstudio)
Ostrovsky has an Instagram following of over 5.7 million and has signed deals with many major brands because of his success on the popular photo-sharing app.
Ostrovsky talks about the future and how he intends on correcting the issue.
He explains the next step in making it right for those he rubbed the wrong way,
“I want everyone to be heard. That’s why I’m going back and adding attribution. If I can be someone who eventually helps this problem get solved, then I’m so fucking down for that. While I am ridiculous and almost purposely antagonistic at times, and over-the-top and not giving a fuck in many ways, I give a lot of fucks and I’m very cognizant of what is going on. I want what’s right. I want everybody to feel good.”