People Are Accusing Instagram Star @TheFatJewish Of Stealing Their Jokes

Comics and others are criticizing the Instagram comedian as a joke thief just days after he was signed by a major Hollywood agency.

1. Josh Ostrovsky is one of the biggest stars on Instagram. His account @TheFatJewish posts aggregated jokes and funny memes that have earned him 5.7 million followers.

2. The social media star has been able to turn his online fame into an entertainment career.

The 30-year-old has been in talks to create a TV show, according to a New York Times profile in 2014, and has a book coming out in October.

Just this year, Ostrovsky launched a wine brand, White Girl Rosé, and signed as a fashion model, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Last year, Billboard reported brands will pay Ostrovsky up to $2,500 to be featured on his Instagram account.

3. On Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Ostrovsky has been signed by major Hollywood agency CAA.

4. But in the midst of the news, many comedians and others on social media are criticizing Ostrovsky. They said he doesn’t properly credit those he aggregates, and has essentially built an empire off other people’s jokes.

5. One of the critics was Davon Magwood, a Pittsburgh-based stand-up comedian.

6. In a post on his website in early August, Magwood accused Ostrovsky and others of stealing this meme he created, which went viral after the death of Cecil the Lion.

Going to start dressing like a Lion. That way cops know that if they kill me. White people will avenge me

— Davon Magwood (@davonmagwood)

“What I noticed happening were sites and people reposting my words with the picture and the words and not my freaking name!” he wrote.

7. @TheFatJewish posted the joke, but Magwood said he didn’t initially credit him. After Magwood said his friends criticized Ostrovsky, the post was changed to include a credit.

Magwood said he gained followers after his handle was credited, but wondered how many more followers he may have received if he had always been credited properly.

“I shouldn’t have to asked to be credit for my work, neither should other comedians or clever social media people,” he wrote.

8. The criticism of Ostrovsky grown significantly since he signed with CAA. One writer, Maura Quint, wrote on Facebook that Ostrovsky is “making a living off of the hard work of other people.”

“This man makes nothing, contributes nothing, originates nothing, he is a leech, he is a virus, he is what is wrong with the world. Please please please do not support him. He is pure trash,” she wrote.

9. Quint also tweeted her post, and it was retweeted by thousands of people, including comedian Patton Oswalt. Many other people began protesting against Ostrovsky’s tactics on Twitter as well.

@kevinandbean You guys should put this dude on blast for stealing other people's work! #thefatjewishsteals #thefatjewish

— Adelina K (@Ad1up2bme)

10. Some said it was unfair Ostrovsky was receiving so much press for posting the work of others.

Cool, now when is @nytimes going to do a feature on the fact that the Fat Jewish is a joke thief?

— Kerry McGuire (@Kerry_McGuire)

11. Others, like actress Mara Wilson, had ideas for how to beat him at his own game.

What if we started an account called "Slightly Overweight Semite" where we just reposted The Fat Jewish's original tweets @Milbermann

— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff)

12. As the backlash grew, Splitsider reported that Comedy Central canceled a planned pilot with Ostrovsky. But BuzzFeed News has learned that his script deal with the network fell through before the recent controversy against him began.

13. The criticism of Ostrovsky is not new. He has received angry messages from comedians in the past who have seen their jokes on his social media accounts. In response to one angry tweet in 2014, Ostrovsky wrote that he saw the joke on a blog and was sorry.

@thepatrickwalsh it was on a blog dude. Apologies.

— The Fat Jew (@FATJEW)

14. Ostrovsky has included credits in his recent posts — most of his posts from the past week tag the original creator.

15. But many of his older posts don’t have a credit.

16. Ostrovsky is far from the only Instagram “aggregator” who has been criticized for their methods. Another popular account, @FuckJerry, made the news before for the same issue.

Ostrovsky did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

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