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Why Did Max Joseph Leave Catfish? What He’s Doing Now

Why Did Max Joseph Leave Catfish? What He’s Doing Now

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The 2010 film Catfish spawned a hit TV show for MTV that’s now been running for 11 years. Between hosts Nev Schulman – who was the subject of the original film – and Max Joseph, the show examines the phenomenon of people pretending to be someone else over the internet.

Although the show is still going strong, Max Joseph chose to leave the show in 2018. But even though his departure saddened the fans, at least there was a concrete reason for Max leaving.

We’ve got the real reason behind Max leaving Catfish, as well as his plans for the future, both on and off the show.

Why Did Max Leave Catfish?

Max Joseph left Catfish in 2018 after seven years to put more focus on his career as a filmmaker.

In his official statement, Max specifically called out that he’d been “straddling two careers as TV host and filmmaker.”

“While this level of busy-ness is a dream come true, my life can no longer sustain it.” He chose to leave Catfish while it was still going strong in favor of continuing his filmmaking career.

Max Joseph at the We are Your Friends Los Angeles Premiere in 2020
Credit: Kathy Hutchins /

“Although I have a heavy heart,” Max concluded, “I am also excited for everything that’s to come for myself, for Nev [Schulman], for our crew and for the show. Thank you for watching, thank you for the love and for the memes.”

His co-host Schulman also released a statement supporting Max’s decision. After praising Max’s time on the show, Schulman finished his statement by saying, “While selfishly I’d love to keep him all to myself, I know that unleashing the creativity and passion that he has will benefit so many of us.”

Will Max Joseph Ever Come Back To Catfish?

Although Max appeared in an Instagram post promoting the 2022 season of Catfish, he has no plans to return to the show outside of a guest appearance.

That doesn’t mean he’s against the idea, however. After appearing as a guest on the 200th episode of Catfish in season 8, Max Joseph spoke to Page Six about returning again.

“I think [the current hosts are] holding it down pretty great just the two of them, but it would be nice [to return] and I hope to potentially do a trio at some point. But I can’t really speak to it [now] … It probably would be fun if it did happen.”

And fans are more than ready for more reunions. On January 4th, one day before the 2022 premiere of Catfish’s newest episode, Nev Schulman posted a video on Instagram featuring Max Joseph.

Viewers hoped this meant that Max would be returning to the show, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

Who Replaced Max On Catfish?

After trying out a series of guest hosts, Catfish finally landed on Kamie Crawford to permanently replace Max Joseph.

Kamie Crawford is a former Miss Maryland Teen USA contestant, winning in 2009 and fulfilling her duties in 2010. She was one of the rotating guest hosts on Catfish in 2019 after Max Joseph left.

Then, in 2020, Crawford took the role of co-host alongside Nev Schulman permanently.

Cast And Fan Reactions To Max Leaving Catfish

Fans of Catfish still wanted more Max in 2022 just as much as they did when he left in 2018.

Many were devastated by the news and took to X to comment express their grief:

Other fans expressed their excitement for Max’s future projects:

Even MTV, the home channel of Catfish responded to Max’s goodbye tweet, saying they “haven’t stopped crying:”

And, of course, Max’s co-host Nev Schulman had plenty to say about his “brother” leaving the show.

“Working with Max on ‘Catfish’ has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life,” Schulman said in his official statement. “What started as a casual friendship quickly turned into a brotherhood.”

“Thanks to Max, over the last six years I’ve learned as much about the internet and society as I have about myself. Max isn’t just a co-host, he’s a partner. His ability to listen, empathize and advise is astounding.”

Schulman continued positively, saying, “I’m going to miss him a lot. He’s my best friend and one of the best colleagues anyone could hope for. As sad as I am though that Max is leaving the show, it brings me great joy to know that he is following his heart.”

Max actually spoke to Page Six about his fans and their love for him and the show in 2022. “They occasionally make it known [they want me back],” he said. But what I really love is that on Twitter, any time I’ve seen people posting about me, they’re always very quick to say that they love Kamie [Crawford] too.”

“They’re a very kind fan group and they’re very sensitive to both my feelings and Kamie’s feelings. They’re very vocal about missing me but they’re also very vocal about how much they love Kamie also.”

What Is Max Joseph Doing Now?

Max Joseph hasn’t stopped pursuing his filmmaking career since leaving Catfish. He makes almost exclusively documentaries, many dealing with his complicated thoughts on the modern internet age.

In fact, the year before he left the show, Max released a documentary short called Dicks: Do You Need to Be one to Be a Successful Leader?

Max Joseph and Nev Schulman from 'Catfish' taking a selfie together

In the five years since leaving Catfish, Max has directed another short and a full-length documentary. The short, which is available to watch on Max’s YouTube channel for free, is called BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content.

His full-length documentary, 15 Minutes of Shame, was released on Max in 2021. It explores the phenomenon of public shaming and features, among others, Monica Lewinsky discussing the aftermath of the scandal between her and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Most recently, he created a short video for the Rainforest Alliance in defense of climate action, which you can watch below: