Everything You Need to Know About FuckJerry and the Fyre Festival

You’ve probably seen @FuckJerry on Instagram. The meme page, which has over 14 million followers, is run by a 27-year-old Syrian Jew, Elliot Tebele.

After the premiere of the dueling Fyre Festival documentaries (one on Hulu, one on Netflix, don’t pretend like you haven’t watched both), controversy has begun to swirl over @FuckJerry’s involvement with the disaster (we’ll just write “Fuck Jerry” from here on out).

So, let’s break it down…

Who is Fuck Jerry?

Fuck Jerry is the Instagram name of Elliot Tebele. Tebele came up with the name while watching Seinfeld. (Because, of course.) He explained to Forbes that when he joined Instagram, “I would post a comedic post here and there and noticed the engagement was much higher than the other posts so it slowly evolved into a full fledged comedy account. @fuckjerry was one of the only meme accounts at the time and the account started to go viral from all of the engagement.”

Tebele’s wife, Jessica Anteby, also started a meme account (@beigecardigan). She grew up in the same Syrian Jewish community as Elliot — but unlike Elliot, she doesn’t post on Shabbat. They also have personal Instagrams (@jessicatebele and @jewhead) that are filled with more normal photos of their life and their baby daughter.

Anyways, Tebele grew quickly past the meme account. “My vision is to become the New Age Hasbro,” he told The New Yorker. “Games are a great way for people to get off their phones, hang out, laugh.. At this point, I’m so sick of the Internet.”

Tebele branched out his Instagram account into a media company (Jerry Media), a Cards Against Humanity type-game (What Do You Meme?), and a tequila brand (Jaja).

Okay, so what’s up with Fyre Festival?

As part of his new media company, Tebele’s team was brought on to help promote the Fyre Festival. By now, thanks to two brand-new documentaries on Hulu and Netflix, we all know what went down with Fyre. (One word: disaster!) Most of the anger and blame has been placed on Fyre Fest organizers Billy McFarland and Ja Rule (McFarland is currently serving jail time for wire fraud.)

This is where it gets interesting…

The Netflix documentary, Fyre, was produced by Jerry Media in partnership with Vice. A bit of a conflict of interest, as Emily Nussbaum pointed out on Twitter:

The Hulu documentary, Fyre Fraud, featured a former Jerry Media employee, Oren Aks (also a Jew! So many Jews in this story!). Aks accused Jerry Media of knowing how terrible the event was going to be yet continuing to promote it. Aks said Jerry Media was complicit in the fraud.

Hulu’s documentary accuses Jerry Media of knowingly lying and promoting false information.

After the dueling documentaries came out, Tebele tweeted that all the money they earned working on Fyre would go to a GoFundMe for the Bahamian workers who were not paid.

However, many are annoyed they’re just now helping out the Bahamian workers. As one commentator wrote, “This happened a year and a half ago and now you want to help the people that got fucked over?! I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that Hulu exposed you scumbags and you needed a positive spin, right?”

People on Twitter also expressed outrage over Jerry Media’s involvement:

Even Serena Williams’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, chimed in:

Why is Patton Oswalt involved?

Why is he involved!? Well, people started tweeting about their anger at Fuck Jerry/Jerry Media and their role in Fyre Festival, and Patton Oswalt stepped in.

He re-tweeted a Fuck Jerry tweet, pivoting the issue from Fyre to stolen jokes.

Patton helped #FuckFuckJerry trend on Twitter, with many others tweeting the hashtag (coined by Twitter comedian Judah Friedlander).

Wait, what’s up with stealing jokes?

Ah, yes, the stealing jokes thing.

Megh Wright has a great explainer in Vulture, calling Jerry Media “every comedian’s worst enemy.” Why? Wright writes, “FuckJerry’s rise to social-media stardom was built on stolen jokes — or as both account creators like to call it, “curating” jokes. Like [@thefatjew Josh] Ostrovsky, the man behind FuckJerry, Elliot Tebele, has managed to attain over 14 million Instagram followers by passing Twitter jokes and memes off as his own — the general style being screenshots with proper attribution (most commonly, Twitter usernames) conveniently cropped out.”

She’s also been using the #FuckFuckJerry campaign:

Not great!

Should I unfollow FuckJerry?


But — did you unfollow @GirlWithNoJob after her racism scandal?

Update: Elliott Tebele released a statement on February 2nd. 

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