COMEDY

5 Reasons To Stop Pointing Your Pitchforks At 'The Fat Jew'

Vulture sat down with the embattled Instagram star, and here's what he had to say in his defense.

The Fat Jew, aka Instagram star Josh Ostrovsky, has had a rough week. Accused by an ever-growing number of comedians and Internet creatives for stealing their work, he's been called a Bogartist, a "hacky joke thief," and "pure trash," among other, less kind terms. Until now, he hasn't said much of anything in his own defense.

In an interview with Vulture, we learned how he runs his 5.7-million-follower operation, and why he doesn't consider himself a thief. 

Here's why The Fat Jew thinks you should change your mind about him.

1. He knows why everyone is mad.

"I get it: I should have been providing attribution for all posts," he told Vulture's Jesse David Fox. "I now realize that if I couldn't find a source for something, I probably shouldn't have posted it in the first place." 

2. He's trying to add image credits, and correct misleading ones.

He's got over 3,200 posts on Instagram as of this writing, the majority of which aren't credited. "My email address is up. I urge people to reach out and say, 'That's my thing.' I would love to give credit," Ostrovsky said. Recalling the moment comedian Davon Magwood -- who's been vocal in the debate over crediting -- contacted him, Ostrovsky explained:

"He reached out and was like, 'Dude,' and I was like, 'Dude,' and gave him credit."

If he can't figure out who created something, he assured Fox he'd take those photos down. Or one of his interns would -- apparently he's got "an army" of them "working out of the back of a nail salon in Queens."

3. He doesn't consider himself a comedian.

"I come from a writing background. That was my genesis," Ostrovsky stated, adding later on that he's consistently maintained himself to be "a commentator," "a curator," or a "performance artist." 

It was never my intention for anyone to think all of this was mine. I want people to shine. I like when like some Monster Energy-wearing weirdo emails me and says, 'You put up my tweet, now I'm the most popular kid in my school.' That's amazing, that's what I'm going for.

 

4. He wants to be "a trusted voice of pop culture."

While he has created his own content -- be it a video of himself teaching a spin class for the homeless, or "sitting in hot tubs of guacamole" -- Ostrovsky hopes people see him as a guy who sometimes makes funny stuff, and sometimes just comments on it. 

"It's about shining light on things that are chill and taking a piss on things that are ridiculous," he told Fox. In addition, Ostrovsky vehemently denies ever cropping out credit information on any of his posts himself, or knowingly stealing a joke.

"That's not who I am or what I'm about."

5. He understands how the Internet -- and his own attitude -- has changed since "The Fat Jew" got started.

Fox brought up a 2009 incident in which Ostrovsky publicly gave out comedian David Cross' phone number -- a huge no-no. These days, he'd never consider pulling the same stunt.

"I realize my voice has power, and I want to use it in a responsible way that everybody feels good about," he explained, adding that "social change" stuff isn't normally his speed.

"Taking this seriously is definitely a different perspective for me ... If this situation is a part of Internet history, I just want to make sure that in 10 years, I'm on the right side of it," he said.

To read the whole interview -- it's worth it -- head to Vulture.

 

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