Joke thief The Fat Jew loses Comedy Central deal after internet backlash

Josh Ostrovsky, professionally known as “The Fat Jew,” is a prominent social media star and widely hated joke thief. Ostrovsky’s method is to simply lift jokes and funny images from Twitter, Instagram and other sources and repost them as his own, usually by using screenshots that omit the joke’s original author and source. When criticised for stealing other people’s content his responses are evasive or half-assed. “It was on a blog dude.”

Ostrovsky built a thriving and lucrative career on these content-snatching tactics, complete with profiles in major newspapers and lots of cash. And while he’s been raking it in for a while now — netting $6,000 for brand shoutouts among other gig-work — as Ostrovsky’s profile has risen, he’s been increasingly taken to task for his joke theft by the comedy community he leeches off of. (We updated his Wikipedia page to include mention of the joke thievery he continues to profit from.)

That hasn’t stopped him from making a series of deals which include a book deal, a pilot in development with Comedy Central, and recently signing with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Whether it was in response to his increasingly mainstream success built on the backs of others or simply a case of the antithapy towards Ostrovsky reaching a critical mass the backlash seems to have come to a head. Comedy writer Maura Quint posted the following message on Facebook and Twitter and the glowing embers of disdain for Ostrovsky in the comedy community were stoked into a righteous blaze.

After that the dam seemed to break and a host of comedians and and big-wigs chimed in.

Many people also took Comedy Central to task for teaming up with the internet’s leading peddler of unoriginal, stolen content.

And now Splitsider is reporting that Ostrovsky’s deal with Comedy Central is off.

We reached out to Comedy Central to ask about the status of Ostrovsky’s pilot, and a rep confirmed with us that the network no longer has a project in development with him.

The tweets have come home to roost.

Ostrovsky’s reps could not be reached for comment.

Update: A rep from Comedy Central told Entertainment Weekly that, despite last weekend’s backlash, the network had killed the TV deal with Ostrovsky “several months ago.”

Next: Seamless is no longer working with The Fat Jew.