Comedy vs. The Fat Jew

fat_jewishThe day of reckoning has finally arrived for joke plagiarist Josh Ostrovsky AKA “The Fat Jew.” If you’re not familiar with Ostrovsky, he’s an extremely popular Instagram and Twitter user known for stealing comedians’ work by posting screenshots of their jokes with credit cropped out (here are just a few examples), and he’s inexplicably been rewarded for his years of thievery through big-brand sponsorships, a book deal with Hachette, a Comedy Central script in development, a modeling contract, a line of rosé wine, and most recently getting signed to Creative Artists Agency.

The news of Ostrovsky signing to CAA broke on Thursday, which prompted Someecards writer Maura Quint to write a PSA about Ostrovsky’s well-documented plagiarism on Saturday that quickly went viral:

Since Quint’s post, tons of comedians have chimed in against Ostrovsky on Twitter. Here’s just a portion of the backlash:

Patton Oswalt also sent a string of tweets poking fun at the argument that Ostrovsky doesn’t blatantly steal but “aggregates,” which is the term The Hollywood Reporter used in the news post about him getting signed to CAA:

Some people also called out Comedy Central for the pilot they reportedly put into development by Ostrovsky:

Ostrovsky has not yet responded to the backlash, but he has continued to post uncredited screenshots of jokes on Instagram to his 5.7 million followers. It’s too soon to tell whether this will have any real effect on his success or ability to profit from stolen work, but we can probably count on the calm, cool, collected wisdom Andy Richter offers here:

And he’s already right: 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. That doesn’t fix the countless jokes Ostrovsky has and continues to poach for profit, but hopefully Comedy Central is the first of many big companies that decide not to work with him or pay him $2,500 for a sponsored Instagram post.

UPDATEComedy Central also confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the script deal was dropped “several months ago” and the network “currently has nothing planned with Ostrovsky.”

Here’s a Storify by Kevin Kelly that rounds up a whole boatload of examples of clear plagiarism from the Fat Jew:

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