The New York Times Compares Kim Kardashian to Sarah Baartman, an Enslaved Black Woman Who Was Tortured

The New York Times Compares Kim Kardashian to Sarah Baartman, an Enslaved Black Woman Who Was Tortured

Twitter rightfully went off.

Published May 17th

The New York Times came under fire recently for labeling Sarah Baartman, an enslaved woman from South Africa known for her curvy proportions and exaggerated buttocks in the 1800s, "a Kim Kardashian of another era."

One of the publication's theater critics, Ben Brantley, penned a review on Venus, an Off-Broadway revival of the play chronicling Baartman's life.

Baartman, also known as the Hottentot Venus, was forced to perform in sideshows and freak shows in Europe at the time, but eventually moved to France where she reportedly died due to an impoverished lifestyle. After her passing, her remains were preserved, dissected and displayed for public viewing up to the 1970s.

Social media rightfully took massive offense to Brantley's comparison of Baartman's natural physique and inhumane treatment to Kim Kardashian's allegedly surgically enhanced behind and outwardly privileged lifestyle.

His problematic piece opens with the polarizing words, "Attention, please, those of you whose greatest ambition is to acquire the traffic-stopping body of Kim Kardashian. There is a less drastic alternative to costly and dangerous buttocks implants."

In addition to the upsetting opening, Brantley went on to say that Baartman was "complicit in her own exploitation," and he trivialized her experience as an enslaved and victimized woman, claiming that her body would not be that unattainable, today.

Needless to say, Twitter found his tone, words and comparison incredibly problematic, and wasted no time in letting that be known in 150 characters or less. 

Take a look at some of the most poignant reactions, below:

Get the latest on Kim Kardashian in the BET Breaks video, above.

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photos from left: Theo Wargo/Getty Images For US Weekly, Apic/Getty Images)

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