To butcher a quote from Michael Moore during his appearance in the Ron Howard film EdTV, “People used to be famous for being special, now they’re special for being famous.” That quote (and movie) stuck in my head pretty firmly. It instilled in my brain a distaste for reality TV. I’m still not immune to staggering cultural relevance, so I am unfortunately familiar with Kim Kardashian.
In 2010, I had my most frequent experiences with the Kardashian Klan. An ex-girlfriend of mine enjoyed watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians but also liked when I got high, watched it with her, and made fun of it like a low-rent MST3K. She at least claimed to like it. In retrospect, smoking too many blunts and talking over a show someone’s watching is obnoxious. It’s annoying even if the person “wants” you to or if the show is the lowest form of sub-intelligent drivel available.
Not only is KUWK an insipid illustration of incompetence, but it is also fake as shit. It would be one thing if, like Matthew Mchonaghy’s titular Ed, the Kardashians allowed themselves to be followed with cameras. Instead, everything is effortlessly staged while these talentless hacks are fed lines that they couldn’t make sound believable if they tried. Which they don’t. To be clear, when I say “effortlessly,” I mean that, seemingly, no one put in any effort.
One episode stands out in my mind all these years later. Caitlin Jenner (then Bruce) “accidentally” takes boner pills, and everyone knows. They react like middle schoolers trying to read the morning announcements. They’re flat and unnatural. Even Caitlin, who at one point made a memorable appearance in the Village People vehicle Can’t Stop The Music, can’t fake her way through this convoluted crap. They all existed in this fake reality that helped rocket the Kardashians to inescapable fame.
Given all of this, it should be no surprise that Kim Kardashian’s acting career is also a shame. I don’t mean that in the sense that she isn’t working. She is. I mean it’s a shame because real actors are currently standing in solidarity with the WGA as they go on strike, or at least acknowledging what the WGA is fighting for. Kim Kardashian, whose virus-like fame could be put to good use (instead of selling an unachievable lifestyle to rubes and the youth as something “normal”), crossed the WGA picket line this week to film for the upcoming season of American Horror Story.
As Warren Leight, the showrunner of Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, reported from the scene, Kardashian attempted to remain incognito while going to shoot. He stopped short of calling her a scab due to contract obligations. Agree to disagree. As he also points out, she has more influence than most, and acknowledging the strike would do worlds of good for the WGA. Pretending the strike isn’t there helps no one.
Kim Kardashian is “special for being famous.” Everything about what she does is for her brand, not others. Did she become a lawyer to help the wrongfully incarcerated? Um… almost? At the end of the day, everything about her and her crew are manufactured. If someone like her, who spends most of their life on camera, hides from cameras at a time when they could be showing solidarity, it means they think it won’t help them. To me, that’s a scab.