Story Update: Splitsider reached out to Comedy Central to inquire the status of Ostrovsky’s pilot. Comedy Central said that “the network no longer has a project in development with him” but did not specify whether that decision was connected to the credit and theft issues that are being alleged.
It was announced on Friday that Josh Ostrovsky, who is the person behind the instagram mega-hit personality “The Fat Jewish was signed to CAA, one of the largest talent agencies in the US.
The Fat Jewish has built a 5 million follower audience on the social media network. He posts memes all day every day which get hundreds of thousands of likes. In addition to his giant twitter and instagram following, Ostrovsky has appeared in ads for Budweiser and Seamless and he reportedly earns up to $6000 per post for mentioning major brand names in his Instagram feed. The thing is, it’s now being alleged that he doesn’t write or create the majority of his comedic posts, they’re lifted off of other sites and other comics without crediting them (except for occasional cases, after the original author complains) giving the impression that they are his originals. Two weeks ago he posted a piece which turned out to be lifted from comedian Davon Magwood with no credit to him. He later added credit after Magwood complained. Below are both The Fat Jewish post and Magwood’s original tweet.
Going to start dressing like a Lion. That way cops know that if they kill me. White people will avenge me pic.twitter.com/FIFfcJwOQH
— Davon (@davonmagwood) July 30, 2015
Friends of Davon’s began contacting the Fat Jewish to make him acknowledge where the content originally came from and it worked. Davon then ended up writing an open letter to the King of Instagram. Death and Taxes picked up the story earlier this month and started a crusade to expose The Fat Jewish.
But D&T aren’t the only ones complaining. Many comedians including Maura Quint, Brian Redban, and Evan Leslie Jones were quick to call him out. Quint has also created an ongoing list of 211 people who have had their jokes stolen, which includes such notable comedians as Chelsea Peretti, Conan O’Brien, and Patton Oswalt. This all caught the attention of Oswalt, who spent the weekend retweeting various comedians who have had their own material stolen by him. He also questioned Ostrovsky referring to himself as an “Internet aggregator” as a way to dismiss theft allegations with a series of tweets about aggregation that appear to have been removed but were screencapped by starcasm. Other comics tweeting about Fat Jewish include Doug Stanhope, Andy Richter, and Nick Youssef.
This weekend the Washington Post reported about Ostrovsky’s thefts asking the question “Is “aggregation” just a euphemism for theft?” and starcasm.net has compiled an lengthy collection of those unhappy with Ostrovsky’s behavior.
No comment yet from Ostrovsky who may be too busy signing contracts and counting money to care.