They say "all press is good press," but that simply isn't true, especially in light of all the recent Kardashian-Jenner-adjacent scandals. In fact, with the volume of bad PR they've had lately, people are questioning if the brand is finally beginning to crumble. The 15 specific instances outlined in this piece aim to track the rapid dissolution that has plagued the KarJenners' brand, with the most egregious scandals all having occurred within the past two months. It's hard to tell if and when fatigue regarding what Cosmopolitan magazine controversially dubbed "America's First Family" (guess they never heard of the Obamas) will finally settle in, but we're as close to a breaking point as we've ever been.
Two things, in particular, may be considered at the root of the empire's demise, and they are both extremely hard falls from grace. These two things, or people, rather, are Kanye and Kendall, (once) the family's foremost claims to legitimacy. And so even though this piece by and large focuses on issues pertaining to 2017, it's critical for us to revisit a major turning point in the 24-hour KarJenner news cycle: Kanye's visit with Trump in December 2016.
As of late, Kim is no longer the lone face that comes to mind when you think of the extended family. Kanye, who had already reached enormous successes prior to marrying into the family, and Kendall, our #Jenneration's most-tapped Instagram model, stood as the pillars that would define the revamped, rebranded family. This was crucial in the attempt to change the unshakable narrative that they were "famous for doing nothing." Kanye, in one fell swoop, made us question his authenticity (and sanity) in a series of bizarre on-stage rants during his Life of Pablo tour and then by publicly meeting with the newly elected Donald Trump. In Kendall's case, numerous instances of cultural appropriation (and subsequent misdirected blame) have slowly chipped away at the overexposed model's brand, leaving the general public with no other choice than to consider her canceled. (Kendall accounts for five of the 15 examples on this list, more than any other family member, with four of the five advents centering around cultural appropriation.)
And yes, this is, after all, the House that Kim Built, lest you forget. But even Kris's favorite child is not immune to negative press. Her transgressions are particularly damaging, having broken Kim's streak of relatively favorable press following her exposure of Taylor Swift last summer.
Congratulations are in order to Kourtney, who is the only KarJenner that has been spared. The eldest of the siblings, she's truly a role model for the rest of the bunch. Keep doing you, Kourt.
The KarJenners are a large, blended family. Therefore, micro-scandals that did not signal a significant danger to one's brand (or the family's name as a whole) have been omitted, such as Rob and Chyna's show being put on hold, and continuous allegations that Kylie has received more plastic surgery.
With all that in mind, let's break it down.
Mere days after leaving the hospital, where he was admitted to due "exhaustion" prompted by an involuntary psychiatric hold, Kanye met Trump at his gilded castle, and we then hid our Yeezus Tour sweatshirt in the depths of our closets. (Sad but true story.) This is not what Nicki meant when she said, "I told 'em meet me at the Trump, Ivanka." Ye then tweeted a defense of himself before deleting his account altogether. (At present, his Twitter account is still deactivated.)
While it remains to be seen if Kanye was in his right mind at the time, since then, it's been all too quiet on the Kanye front regarding his whereabouts, save for reports that he quarantined himself in Wyoming.
This meeting surprised many, for myriad reasons, especially since Kanye and Kim had supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. It also put Kim's brand at risk because she neither denounced nor voice support for Kanye's behavior, which made people question the authenticity of both their support for Clinton, not to mention their concern for the republic as a whole. This certainly wasn't the old "George Bush doesn't care about Black people" Kanye. Call us when you're out of the sunken place, Ye.
For someone whose brand was centered around being one of the only "natural" KarJenners, Kendall's image took a hit when she was first rumored to receive lip injections earlier this year. When social media first caught wind of a noticeable difference in Kendall's lips, Kylie took to Snapchat to take the heat, claiming she "overlined" Kendall's lips. In January, Kendall took to her app to dispel the rumors, but months later, however, Kendall's lips still appear to look decidedly fuller.
In February, Kylie Cosmetics, a brand that's been plagued by quality control issues, was accused of repackaging old lip kits and selling them at a higher price in limited edition kits. As evidenced above, "Spice" and "Blitzen" appear to be suspiciously similar hues. But to be honest, if you're purchasing from a brand that's validity is rooted in an artificially swollen-lipped teenager's image, can you really expect cosmetic excellence?
When your family's entire legacy is built off reappropriating and whitewashing the likeness of POCs, what better way to remind everyone than by posting a problematic picture of you and your problematic sister that you know will rile people up.
Kylie, you're amazing at stirring the pot, sweetie.
In April, a glorious gift was bestowed upon the internet: the disaster that was Fyre Fest. Though Kendall was not one of the models involved in the digital short, a still from which is pictured above, shortly before the failed fest, she posted an Instagram that was an ad for the event, for which she made $250,000. Not even a Pepsi hand-delivered to a cop by Kendall herself could fix this mess.
The third installation in Kendall's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for PR saw her posing for Vogue India's 10th Anniversary Edition. Couldn't they find an Indian model, you ask? That very same question was on the minds of numerous others who slammed her basic presence on what could've been a celebration of Indian culture.
Khloe only made the list this once, but her crime is egregious. In June, she was accused of straight up stealing a WOCs designs — crazily enough, from a brand where she had recently purchased. Good American's most recent drop turned into a straight-up scandal after they were caught stealing designs. Then Destiney Bleu, the designer of the original garments, came with receipts, noting that Khloe had recently purchased one of everything from her website. Khloe then hit her with a cease and desist letter, “inspired by the 1990’s [sic] and are evocative of clothing worn by Cher and others at the time.” Wow... shameless.
Faster than you could say, "what in appropriation?" Kylie, too, was accused of whitewashing designs from a POC creative that she had once ordered from. This might be the least fashionable twinning moment the KarJenners have ever experienced.
The Kylie Shop dropped a line of camo separates, which intially drew comparison to Destiny's Child. If you thought that was bad, the reality that these designs were actually lifted from a POC designer, one from which Kylie had recently purchased, was much worse. Crazy idea, but...have you guys ever considered creating anything original?
When Keeks announced her inaugural beauty effort, discourse quickly shifted from hype to racism. As soon as her promo for the line dropped, many began to raise questions regarding blackface. One of the photos, above, was then re-edited to reflect a much more plausible skin tone. She addressed the backlash in a New York Times profile, saying, "I would obviously never want to offend anyone. I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it." Though blackface accusations are perhaps the worst possible thing one could ever be associated with, KKW Beauty went to sell out within a matter of hours.
Uhhh... we're just gonna leave this here.
Oh, hi, Kris! Welcome to your tape. OK, so this isn't the world's biggest deal, but how are you gonna advertise a product that supposedly helps you "stay in shape" when the photo used to portray said effect is riddled with Photoshop. It brings into question the effectiveness of the products and why they would advertise products they don't actually use. (Note: the entire family, excluding Rob, has advertised this product in the past.) Authenticity is the foundation of any well-built brand, and this is just another transparent example of a farce. Save your money, people!
The mommy shamers came out of the woodwork in full force after Kim shared this sweet pic of her youngest child. Unknowingly, Kim showed that Saint was seated in a front-facing car seat, which is against the law for a child his age in California. Parenting is tough enough without the entire internet opining on your every move, but this was undoubtedly damaging to Kim's image.
The youngeset Jenners cemented their fate with this preposterous drop, which from a mile away seemed like an absolutely horrible idea. No one asked for Kendall and Kylie's faces superimposed atop of Pac and Biggie's likeness — NO ONE. With the bogus defense that the product was "not well thought out," the girls staged a half-baked apology on their Twitters via Hollywood's favorite medium for apologies, the "Notes" application. Seriously, Kendall probably has "Notes" in her "Siri App Suggestions" at this point.
This bout of bad PR might have been the straw that broke the camel's back, for some at least. Shortly after, the @knjdaily Twitter account on Twitter, an account formerly dedicated to Kendall updates, detailed their reasons for un-stanning Kendall via a thread. Kendall, your career is in danger, girl!
Technically, this is not the only illegal behavior on this list, but it's certainly the most abominable. Signaling the official rupture of a relationship no one expected would thrive, Rob posted Chyna's nudes to Instagram in what we can only assume was a manic episode. No one's calling Chyna a saint, but this was merely another strong example of Rob's well-documented misogyny, and it was completely uncalled for and illegal. Most concerning of all, Rob's temporary insanity is a peak into how he thinks of women, which is scary in light of the fact that he's raising a daughter. This is undoubtedly the biggest hit to the family's name as it will ultimately concern Dream's custody, Rob's sanity, and Kim's brand (built off the idea that you can't slut shame a woman into submission). Somehow we have no doubt that Rob will slither his way out of this ordeal, but not without dragging his family's name, and any chance at parenting Dream normally, through the mud.
(Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage)
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