Dear Apple, sack ‘The Fat Jew’ – joke thief and plagiarist – from Beats 1

Dear Apple, sack ‘The Fat Jew’ – joke thief and plagiarist – from Beats 1

I just watched the iconic “Think Different’ ad from 1997. I wanted to check that Apple didn’t mention plagiarists. I’m happy to report that in its celebration of the creative, the rebellious and the bold, the company didn’t explicitly venerate thieves.

Sadly though, Apple is rewarding a thief. The Fat Jew aka Josh Ostrovsky has a show on Beats 1. He’s just signed a contract with talent agency CAA, has a modelling deal, sponsorships from huge brands, is writing his own show and built this all on theft.

TFJ is a thief. The evidence is overwhelming. Writers, comedians and journalists have comprehensively detailed the hundreds of instances where he has lifted jokes without credit. He calls himself an aggregator. He is not.

A decent aggregator or online curator follows the model established by laudable link bloggers such as Jason Kottke. Kottke.org adds valuable context to the material it shares and is rigorous about crediting.

TFJ’s Instagram account – fed with stolen content by the man himself and an army of unnamed interns – is an unoriginal slurry of other people’s stuff sprinkled with a few half-arsed new ‘jokes.’

His Beats 1 show is entertaining, but that doesn’t matter. He got the job by standing on the shoulders of others. No, scratch that, not their shoulders but their heads. He has clambered to prominence by stealing other people’s work. Thieves do prosper.

In hip hop, there’s a concept of the ‘biter‘, a rapper who lifts other people’s rhymes rather than writing their own. TFJ is a biter, not a writer.

Stealing jokes, stealing pictures, stealing articles is always wrong. Just because these practices are rampant online doesn’t mean we should stand for them.

Apple makes products for creative people. It spent millions of dollars fighting rivalscough Samsung cough – because it believed they plagiarized its designs and inventions.

In that context, boosting the career of a thief like TFJ is entirely wrong. Please Tim Cook, boot him from Beats 1 now.

Read next: The lessons Dr Dre’s ‘Compton’ can teach startups

Featured image credit: Apple (See Josh, that’s how you credit something). 

Read next: Why micro-interactions are the secret to great design

Here's some more distraction

Comments