The Fat Jew Talks Plagiarism Accusations: "Things Like That Are Never Going to Happen Again"

Fat Jewish - H 2015
Courtesy of Fat Jewish

Fat Jewish - H 2015

"I didn't realize that if you don't have a source for something, then you couldn’t necessarily post it."

The criticism against Instagram comedian The Fat Jew, aka Josh Ostrovsky, has increased ever since The Hollywood Reporter announced he was signing with CAA. Many comedians accused Ostrovsky of stealing jokes and plagiarizing, and he did an interview with Vulture to address the accusations.

"I should have been providing attribution for all posts," said Ostrovsky. "It's always been important to me. The Internet is a vast ocean of stuff, and sometimes it's hard to find the original source of something. I now realize that if I couldn't find a source for something, I probably shouldn't have posted it in the first place."

Ostrovsky said he is working on adding attribution to all of his posts, and when the interviewer asked him whether he would take down past posts if he doesn't find the original source, Ostrovsky said he would.

He said he wasn't thinking about how big his stage had become and said, "Like Ben Parker, Spider-Man's uncle, said: 'With great power comes great responsibility.' "

Throughout the interview, Ostrovsky repeatedly stressed that Instagram was just a part of what he does, citing his White Girl Rosé wine line and upcoming book. He constantly cracked jokes, until the interviewer pointed out that many people feel he isn't taking the situation seriously.

Ostrovsky replied that he is taking it seriously and said, "I don't normally take stuff seriously. I'm not into social change, but this is something important to me. I realize my voice has power, and I want to use it in a responsible way that everybody feels good about."

He said he thinks of himself as a commentator and curator. "It was never my intention for anyone to think all of this was mine," said Ostrovsky. "I'm at the forefront of what's cool and what's hot and what's funny. It's complicated, in that some of the stuff is made by me, some of the stuff is submitted, some of the stuff is found. It's a hodgepodge."

He promised that "things like that are never going to happen again" and encouraged people to reach out to him about crediting past work.

"I'm very on the cutting edge of the Internet," he said. "I'm up on a lot of the newest shit first. So, if I didn't realize all this about attribution and sources, there are probably other people who also don’t. I'd like to set the standard."