Resurfaced clip shows comedian Matt Rife touching Zendaya without her consent

Matt Rife has left fans raging in resurfaced clip with Zendaya

After Matt Rife cracked a joke about domestic violence in his Netflix special, a resurfaced clip of him grabbing Spider-Man star Zendaya without her consent has lefts fans fuming.

The comedian met with outrage after his joke about being served by a hostess with a “black eye”, and he was criticised for making fun of victims of domestic violence.

During the Netflix show, Natural Selection, he recalled an incident where he was served by an injured woman.

He told the audience that his son, who was with him, said maybe they should put her in the kitchen 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 then doubled down in a social media post, defending the joke by directing upset viewers to an “official apology” which linked to “special needs helmets”. This sparked further furore, with people accusing him of ableism.

While Rife has not issued a sincere apology, a recently resurfaced older clip proves he has form with punching down when it comes to his so-called comedy routines.

You may like to watch

The clip comes from a 2017 episode of the MTV comedy series Wild ‘N Out, featuring then KC Undercover star Zendaya.

In the show, Rife and his fellow comedians were given the challenge of making her spit out a mouthful of water.

As the comedian approached the actor, he initially joked: “Hey, Zendaya, I’m [show host] Nick Cannon,” before changing tact and saying: “Nah, f*ck that, I’m Matt motherf**king Rife, all right.”

He then said: “You’re mixed, I wanna be Black, let’s make a lifestyle movie.” When Zendaya looked decidedly unmoved, he grabbed her face and proclaimed: “Spit that water out so I can get your number please.”

Zendaya flinched and wagged her finger at him to make clear she did not want him touching her. Her teammates then leapt to her defence, with one shouting: “Don’t be touching her like that, man.”

To which Rife replied: “I didn’t touch her, she can handle herself.”

Even Rife’s own teammates seemed shocked at his behaviour, with one saying: “That was definitely a bomb, not only a bomb for the audience but everybody on the cast was like: ‘Woah, chill man’.”

Although neither Zendaya nor Rife have ever publically addressed the incident, people are now recalling the moment, following the release of the controversial Netflix special.

“Had I known Matt Rife was the same guy on Wild ‘N Out [who] touched Zendaya’s face, I would’ve instantly hated him,” one fan wrote on social media.

And another said: “I disliked Matt Rife the second I saw that clip of him touching Zendaya’s face years ago but, wow, he’s just gotten worse.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.