The Fat Jew On Moving Past That Controversy
Stepping out of the Broadway-Lafayette subway stop that’s doubling as a sauna and walking a few blocks over to the One Management office, there are no angry picketers in sight. The pitchforks and flaming sticks seem to have been left at home and been replaced with paparazzi and camera crews who have their lenses set on the rotund man with a hair dildo shooting out of his head.
His name is Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky and he may be more hated by the comedy community than Kim Davis is by the world. Last month, The Fat Jew became the subject of an open letter penned by comedian Davon Magwood who accused him of profiting off of jokes made by other comedians. As the story blew up, a host of other comedians came out against the man who has created an empire on social media. A few weeks after the controversy blew up, things appear to have calmed down.
No mobs form outside as The Fat Jew gives a rousing pep talk to the dads who are in the midst of their final fittings before taking over the fashion world for MADE Fashion Week’s “Dad Fashion” show on Wednesday at The Standard, High Line. With nearly 6 million Instagram followers, a line of wine called White Girl Rosé, and an upcoming book called Money Pizza Respect, it seems as though The Fat Jew is at the height of his career—despite the drama . To sort through the controversy and get some insight into his foray into fashion, Milk sent Chris Thomas to talk with the comedian about attribution, the shaman Spencer Pratt, cum gutters, dadwear, and panda bars ahead of his Fashion Week debut.
Let’s cut straight to the controversy. It’s tough to credit everything because it’s the Internet and everyone copies everything. Do you think you’ve become a martyr for a larger problem with sourcing?
Yeah the whole thing sucked but I think it was probably for the greater good. I don’t think the two sides really understand each other and they are not feeling each other. I kind of got put in the middle of that but, for me, I prefer less to see it as like… At first I asked myself why I was in the middle of this but then I just remembered that I really genuinely love the Internet.
Looking back now, what was the biggest thing you learned from this?
Now I realize that if I’m helping solve a larger issue, I’m pretty much down. It’s a moment in Internet history. It’s new and different and a lot of people definitely don’t understand it. I think if I can bring the two sides together that’s important. Attribution is important. It is hard to find stuff but my team is working tirelessly to go through everything—the Internet is one big sharing community. I think eventually this will all be awesome but we were in a grey area. I’m trying to use this as a positive and have the Internet be more awesome.
Do you see yourself at the forefront of the issue still?
I’m not trying to get too overly involved with the larger picture but I’m trying to do my part to make sure everyone is happy and getting the credit they deserve. Honestly, the more we go back and do attribution the deeper we get into the Internet. There are a lot of layers and sometimes it’s hard to know where stuff came from but we’re all learning shit together through this.
So just to be clear on this, you are going back through all your old posts and crediting them now? That’s a huge project.
Definitely. I have a team working on it and honestly I’m figuring out killer shit. People are emailing and I’m meeting new funny people that I didn’t know existed. I think we are all falling in love with each other. There are definitely people who are angry and not going to get over it but that’s fine. For the most part people are emailing and saying “hey that was my thing” and we credit them and they will send us some videos and we watch those and I’m going to end up working with some of these people. It’s one big filthy spring break hot tub filled with jokes.
Jokes and semen.
Jokes and semen. One hundred percent.
I mean, even with the controversy you’re only a self-proclaimed Z-list celebrity so you can’t get any lower. If you could create a Fat Jew Crew, who would be in it?
It would be Rob Lowe, Wilmer Valderrama, Stanley Tucci, and Danny Glover. He’d have to grow his mustache back though. Imagine if you saw that crew roll into an L.A. nightclub. You would have so many different feelings. I’ve cultivated a pretty good Z-list crew thus far, actually. I’m hanging out with Stephen Dorff and Spencer Pratt.
Oh shit! What even happened to Spencer Pratt?
I had lunch with him two weeks ago. The guy loves crystals. Not crystal. He’s very spiritual and into crystals and centering his chi. I asked him if he would be my shaman and he said yes so I guess we’re doing that? I was sort of joking and he was not. So Spencer Pratt is my new shaman.
Maybe he’ll show up to the show for spiritual guidance. Speaking on that, your Dad Fashion Show is shaping up to be the high fashion event of the season. Where did you curate the clothes for it?
We went to official dad sources like Old Navy, thrift stores, and even some of the models—who are all real dads—brought their own stuff. I went to my parent’s storage unit here and it was filled with gems from my dad. There was so much fucking dadwear in there.
How did you find the dads for the show?
It’s a variety! Dads I know, people who heard about it, and some Craigslist dads.
Craigslist? Is there a dad section I’m missing on there?
Yeah there are casual encounters, TVs, sublets, and dads.
Just some dads who want to go to Home Depot together and get some power drills.
Dad encounters for dads to meet up—maybe going to buy a belt sander. Dad 4 dad?
It’s rad that none of the dads have even modeled before.
Totally. That’s what we’re going for we’re just trying to shake it up. Fashion week is all-inclusive in theory but it caters to beautiful androgynous gay men from Europe and women. There are not that many normal bodies and dads. Just normal ass dads.
So it’s a fashion show for the rest of us? That’s basically the antithesis of the fashion world.
Everyone is trying to look like they don’t give a fuck but they give the most fucks. You’re buying actual trash to wear to look like you don’t give a fuck but dads truly do not care.
As one of the world’s first plus-sized models with One Management, do you have the same give no fucks attitude toward modeling?
Totally. I’m promoting full Shrek body. Just let yourself go, honestly. I’m not mad at anyone with abs up to your eyeballs and cum gutters. It’s just like you should be able to look like shit and do whatever you want.
Shrek bod is the new fashion frontier. Half of the importance of Fashion Week is the afterparty. As a native New Yorker you’ve been to a lot of clubs and bars. What is the strangest bar you’ve ever been to?
So okay, I’m really into the gay animal kingdom and some tragically hip gay dudes I know took me to Hell’s Kitchen to this bar. They told me to get a drink and just watch and then I realized it was a panda bar. It was all fat gay Asian bears grazing. You don’t really see a lot of pandas around the city so it must have been every one of them in New York at this bar. It was beautiful I stood there for hours.
The Fat Jew photographed exclusively for Milk by ReviveTheCool.