Publicity shot of Ostrovsky
February 18, 1982|
New York, New York, U.S.
|Other names||The Fat Jew|
|Alma mater||University at Albany, SUNY|
|Occupation||Social media and television personality, vintner, actor, musician, fashion designer, plus-size model|
(m. 2014; div. 2017)
Early life and education
Ostrovsky was born and raised in New York City to a Russian-born radiologist father Paul, and nutritionist mother Rebecca. He grew up in Manhattan on the Upper West Side. He attended several schools as a child, starting at the Packer school in Brooklyn, and then he also attended Trevor Day School and the Dwight School, both on the Upper West Side. As a child actor, he appeared in several commercials, including one for Hershey's. After briefly attending New York University and Skidmore College, he enrolled in State University of New York at Albany, graduating in 2004 with a bachelor of arts in journalism.
While at SUNY Albany, Ostrovsky was a member of the rap trio Team Facelift, where he first started going by the name Fat Jew. He has said that the moniker was inspired by one of his counselors at Eisner Camp and by Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein. Team Facelift formed in 2004, signed with Duck Down Records and released the album Mixed Emotions in 2006. They broke up in 2012.
In September 2016, Ostrovsky announced his Major Lazer tribute band Major Behavior, formed with DJ Maachew Bentley and billed as the world's first EDM tribute band. Major Behavior toured in 2016 as a part of Ostrovsky's IRL Tour. For the second IRL Tour in 2017, Major Behavior toured with Dillon Francis, RL Grime and Party Favor. Major Behavior was joined onstage by Major Lazer's Diplo during a May 2017 performance in Chicago.
In 2009, Ostrovsky started an Instagram account with the handle "TheFatJewish". The account went viral in 2013 after Ostrovsky posted a video parodying Soul Cycle, in which he led a spin class for homeless people on Citi Bikes parked on the street. In 2013, his Instagram account was suspended due to inappropriate content. In response, he organized a rally held outside Instagram's New York office. The protest was live-streamed on Vice.com, and his account was restored after 15 minutes. In 2014 The New York Times wrote that "he has parlayed a profane sense of humor that mocks the tropes of social-media culture and the hipsters who propagate them; an apparent affection for pot, pets and grandparents; and his own slovenly, outlandish physical appearance… into a huge web following." Time magazine named Ostrovsky to its 2015 list of The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet. As of September 2017, he has over 10 million followers on Instagram.
Ostrovsky has been hired to do product placement in his social media posts by companies including Burger King, Virgin Mobile, Apple, Budweiser and Stella Artois. In 2015 he signed on as a spokesperson for Seamless.
Film, television and commercials
In 2007, Ostrovsky was hired as an entertainment reporter interviewing celebrities on The Daily 10 on E! He later hosted the rap interview web series An Intimate Conversation. He sold a show parodying the Williamsburg, Brooklyn hipster culture to Amazon in 2013, which went unproduced. In 2014, he signed a deal to develop a scripted series for Comedy Central, based on his life. The deal was canceled in 2015. He signed with Creative Artists Agency in 2015, and that year began making regular appearances on Bloomberg News, starred in a Bud Light commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLIX, and appeared in the music video for DNCE's "Cake by the Ocean", as well as "Boys" by Charli XCX. He has appeared as himself in numerous reality television series, including 3AM and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. He has also played supporting roles in several films, including the upcoming teen comedy Status Update, starring Ross Lynch and Olivia Holt. He was featured in a 2017 ad campaign for Malibu Rum. He appears in the documentary The American Meme, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
Modeling and fashion
In June 2015, Ostrovsky signed a modeling contract with One Management. He claims to be the world's first male plus-size model. He appeared in a photo spread in Inked magazine's May 2015 issue, and was featured on the covers of the magazines treats! in 2016 and Nude in 2017.
Ostrovsky formerly hosted a radio show on Apple Music Beats 1 called "Money, Pizza, Respect". The book of the same name, a collection of personal essays and images, was published by Grand Central Publishing in 2015. The book's cover parodies the cover of Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography Steve Jobs.
Ostrovsky is a founder of Swish Beverages, which launched the wine White Girl Rosé in 2015, following it up in 2016 with the wines Babe Rosé With Bubbles and Family Time Is Hard Pinot Grigio. In 2018, Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired a minority stake in the company.
Ostrovsky currently hosts Major Behavior, a weekly radio show on SiriusXM's electronic channel Diplo's Revolution, where he invites inexperienced guests to co-host, interviews celebrities, and plays guest mixes.
In 2015, Ostrovsky was accused of posting screenshots of other comedians' jokes on Instagram and Twitter without their permission, and with the credits cropped out. After several stories were published about this behavior, Ostrovsky edited his past posts to credit the authors of the jokes.
Ostrovsky and Katie Sturino were married in 2014. They announced their divorce in 2017.
- Money Pizza Respect (Grand Central Publishing, 2015)
|2010||Bolt From the Blue||Luther||Short film|
|2012||Ben Banks||Phil Macey|
|All Wifed Out||Will|
|2018||Status Update||Bearded Dude|
|The Peach Panther|
|The American Meme||Himself|
|2007-2010||The Daily 10||Self||10 Episodes|
|Talk Stoop||Self||Season 9, ep. 5|
|Ridiculousness||Self||Season 6, ep. 32|
|2016||Greatest Party Story Ever||Self||Season 2, ep. 5 (MTV)|
|2017||The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills||Self||Reality|
|2014||"When We Were Young"||Dillon Francis|
|2015||"Cake by the Ocean"||DNCE|
- "The 'Fat Jew' Josh Ostrovsky on What It Takes to Get Millions of Online Followers". Inc.com. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
- John Sunyer, "Lunch with the FT: The Fat Jew," Financial Times, July 24, 2015.
- Jon Ronson, "Josh Ostrovsky: 'The internet is like a giant weird orgy'," The Guardian, November 7, 2015.
- Bee Shapiro, "A Shortcut to Comic Celebrity," New York Times, September 17, 2014.
- Joseph Barracato, "Strange Sight, Unique Sound," New York Post, October 6, 2007.
- Tamar Anitai, "Meet Team Facelift," MTV.com, August 6, 2007.
- Jillian Scheinfeld, "Spotlight On: The Fat Jew, AKA Josh Ostrovsky," Jewcy, October 2, 2014.
- Nick Williams, "Instagram Sensation 'Fat Jew' Is Making Big Bucks With His Crazy Antics," Billboard, August 18, 2014.
- "Watch The Fat Jew Unveil His Major Lazer Tribute Band, 'Major Behavior'," Billboard, September 14, 2016.
- Kat Bein, "The Fat Jew's Major Lazer Tribute Band Played With Diplo and They're Actually Really Great," Billboard, May 9, 2017.
- Alexander Iadarola, "The Fat Jew to Tour with His Major Lazer Cover Band, Dillon Francis, and RL Grime," Thump, December 14, 2016.
- Kat Bein, "The Fat Jew Announces IRL Tour 2017 With Major Behavior, Dillon Francis & More," Billboard, December 13, 2016.
- Jeanette Settembre, "Josh (The Fat Jew) Ostrovsky speaks on his new book 'Money Pizza Respect'," New York Daily News, November 2, 2015.
- "Live Stream: The Fat Jew Is Protesting Outside Instagram's Offices," Vice, October 3, 2013.
- "The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet," Time, March 5, 2015.
- Caitlin Brody, "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: 'Sweet Georgia Jayne'," Entertainment Weekly, March 7, 2017.
- Clayton Purdom, "We went to a Four Loko party thrown by the Fat Jew and felt terrible," The A.V. Club, February 27, 2017.
- Ella Ceron, "The Fat Jewish Will Show at Fashion Week," New York, August 17, 2015.
- Jesse David Fox, "A Conversation With the Fat Jew: 'That's Not Who I Am or What I'm About," Vulture.com, August 21, 2015.
- Natalie Jarvey, "The Fat Jew, Josh Ostrovsky, Signs With CAA," The Hollywood Reporter, August 13, 2015.
- Anthony D’Alessandro, "Rob Riggle, Famke Janssen, Wendi McLendon-Covey & More Round Out 'Status Update' Cast," Deadline Hollywood, July 19, 2016.
- Rebecca Stewart, "Malibu freshens up 'Because Summer' campaign as it looks to own the season," The Drum, May 25, 2017.
- Owen Gleiberman, "Tribeca Film Review: ‘The American Meme’," Variety, May 1, 2018.
- Gardner, Chris. "Instagram Star The Fat Jewish Signs Fashion Model Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Taylor Harris, "The Fat Jewish Defends Title as First Plus-Size Male Model," Women's Wear Daily, March 21, 2016.
- Salacuse, Rocky (May 21, 2015). "Handsome Boy Modeling School". Inked.
- Rakovic, Rocky (September 9, 2015). "Behind The Scenes With The Fat jew". Inked.
- treats! Issue 11, Summer 2016.
- Nude, Issue 018, June 2017.
- Steff Yotka, "What Is the Fat Jew Doing at New York Fashion Week?" Vogue, September 16, 2015.
- "Swish Beverages Founders Josh Ostrovsky & David Oliver Cohen Talk New 'Family Time Is Hard' Wine," Downtown, December 14, 2016.
- Dawson, Victoria. "The Fat Jew is Launching His Own Wine Label". Elle. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- Sam Reed, "White Girl Rose Is Now Available In Can Form," The Hollywood Reporter, June 10, 2016.
- "Weekend Sip: Pinot Grigio to Pair With Family Holiday Fights," Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2016.
- Olly Wehring, "Anheuser-Busch InBev makes wine move with Swish stake buy," just-drinks.com, March 13, 2018.
- "Major Behavior". SiriusXM. June 13, 2018.
- Fee, Rob (May 18, 2015). "Why Stealing Jokes on Social Media is a Bigger Deal Than You Think".
- Wright, Megh (August 17, 2015). "Comedy vs. The Fat Jew". Splitsider.
- Maggie Coughlan, "'Fat Jew' getting divorced, wife keeps celeb dog Toast," New York Post, January 6, 2017.