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The Fat Jew’s Instagram Plagiarism Scandal, Explained

Comedians aren't laughing at his success.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Josh Ostrovsky, better known on social media as the portly, oft-nude personality the Fat Jew (@FatJewish), is the drain swirl of everything you hate about the Internet.

Over the past month, Ostrovsky has come under fire for lifting jokes from other people on the internet, mainly comedians. While Internet joke theft is so common that Twitter has instituted a copyright policy against it, Ostrovsky stands out because of how successful “his” lifted jokes have made him. He has more than 5.7 million followers on Instagram, reportedly makes $6,000 from brands when he gives them a shout-out on social media, is an aspiring male model (with a contract), signed with the same talent agency that represents Meryl Streep, served as the face of food-ordering app Seamless, and until very recently was set to make his own show at Comedy Central.

This isn’t the first time he’s been caught stealing others’ material. And perhaps the most depressing thing about this whole saga is that his fans don’t seem to care.

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