Kim Kardashiann decided to deliver a tough message to women in business. Then her employees cited poor pay and conditions despite strong work ethics.

Kim Kardashian thought she was promoting The Kardashians along with a strong work ethic but, in the process, managed to infuriate millions of people, including some former employees. Audiences frequently criticize the Kardashians for being out of touch with reality. From wasteful food fights, the original branding of SKIMS as Kimono, to Kendall Jenner’s infamous Pepsi ad, it’s evident that the family needs to step down from their famous ivory tower more often despite good intentions.

Kim joined Variety to spill details on her family’s new show and delivered a stern message for women in business. She told Variety, “I have the best advice for women in business, get your f ** king a ** up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.” Americans exhausted by the pandemic, overwhelmingly low wages, and inequitable working conditions were insulted by the idea that they didn’t work hard or that they didn’t have good reason to be frustrated.


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In general, going the extra mile does help employees get ahead. However, Kim’s tough love advice seemed to misjudge how those already going above and beyond are unable to attain economic advancement and therefore exiting the labor market. Adding fuel to the fire of discontent, Kim probably did not expect her family’s employees to point out how condescending and alienated she sounded.

In particular, two former employees flocked to Twitter to share their experiences working for the famous family. Jessica Defino tweeted, “I was an editor on the Kardashian apps in 2015 in LA, worked days nights & weekends, could only afford groceries from the 99 Cents Only Store, called out” sick “more than once bc I couldn’t put gas in my car to get to the office, & was reprimanded for freelancing on the side. “ Jessica’s situation is all too familiar, especially in Los Angeles, one of the country’s most expensive places to live. Digging into her family’s employee contracts would have been wise before Kim scolded people for not wanting to work.

In response to a post asking who carried Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Dave Mcnamee joked, “I did when I worked on the show for 2 seasons during the peak of my alcoholism.” Production jobs are known for their 12-plus hour days and lack of benefits or free time for freelancers attempting to make ends meet, issues highlighted in the narrowly avoided IATSE strike last fall. Too often, a culture of addiction coinciding with production becomes all too normal. However, Dave acknowledged that the show was not necessarily the root cause of his addiction in a follow-up tweet. He also jokingly apologized for once being in mom of two Kylie Jenner’s way and revealed he survived off the pop tarts and oatmeal he stole from Kardashian craft services.

It was also revealed by The Daily Mail that Kim’s unpaid interns didn’t take to kindly to her comments. Leighton Mixon summed it up nicely on E! NewsThe Rundown. He said Kim has never been accused of not working hard. However, he noted, “in the spirit of working hard, I’ll tell you someone who is not doing their job the day after International Women’s Day, Kim’s publicist,” Tracy Romulus. He followed up, “how are you gonna let your client tell millions of working women to get off their a ** without the added benefit of nannies, chefs, assistants, should I continue … and don’t even get me started on Kourtney’s little ‘that’s so true ‘.’ “ For years, Kourtney’s lack of interest in traditional work has been a sore subject on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Considering Kourtney’s ability to prioritize parenting over working as an incredibly privileged stance, she might have opted not to chime in.

It’s incredible that neither Tracy nor Kim put a stop to this message. Kim’s efforts toward becoming a lawyer and engaging in prison reform are admirable. However, this blunder should inform her how social issues are not isolated but part of an intersectional fabric of overwhelming inequity. Maybe Kim can advocate for a living wage for all on The Kardashianswhich will motivate them to get their booties up for something they deserve.

Next: Kim Kardashian Worries Kanye West Will ‘Scare’ Pete

Sources: Variety, Jessica Defino/ Twitter, Dave Mcnamee / Twitter, The Rundown, The Daily Mail

The Kardashians premieres on April 14 on Hulu.

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