In the midst of hyping up the upcoming reality show The Kardashians, the careful, cunning Kim Kardashian made a big mistake, and spoke down to her audience.

During a video interview with Variety, Kardashian confidently stated:

“I have the best advice for women in business – get your f****** ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days … if you put in the work, you will receive results. It’s that simple.”

The quote instantly floated to the top of the news cycle, completely overshadowing the positive tone of Variety’s interview. A few years ago, when the “girlboss” trend was still popular, Kardashian’s words might have landed differently.

But two years into a global pandemic, in which workers have found themselves drowning in debt, childcare and healthcare costs, overwhelmed by working long hours for low pay, the sentiment really stung.

Especially coming from a wealthy and powerful entrepreneur who has spent the last few years blissfully insulated from the true toil of the pandemic – indeed, Kardashian celebrated her 40th birthday partying on a private island, while the rest of the world was cooped up in quarantine.

In particular, the working women who Kardashian’s dismissive words were aimed at have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, lacking the abundant resources that Kardashian relies on. Simply getting up and working isn’t the issue – people are burnt out, and rightfully, sick and tired of being underpaid for their labor.

One comment from a former employee of Kardashian directly called out the entrepreneur’s hypocrisy.

Even actor Jameela Jamil, who also grew up in a wealthy, privileged environment, scolded Kardashian for being out of touch:

“I think if you grew up in Beverly Hills with super successful parents in what was simply a smaller mansion… nobody needs to hear your thoughts on success/work ethic,” Jamil tweeted. “This same 24 hours in the day s— is a nightmare. 99.9% of the world grew up with a VERY different 24 hours.”

While Kim Kardashian has always flaunted her privilege and formidable wealth (both earned and inherited), her business empire was only made possible by the workers that surround her, as her childcare and household maintenance are taken care of by “the help.”

Clearly, Kardashian has no idea what life is like for the average worker out there; if she wants to continue being adored by simpering fans, it’s probably not a good idea to insult them. Claiming that “nobody wants to work these days” sounds as reductive as a Fox News soundbite, and shows the true extent of her privilege, as though labor shortages have been sparked by simple laziness and not a response to poor working conditions.

The backlash might just mark the beginning of the end for the Kardashian empire, as the empty values preached by the celebrity sisters clash with the lived reality of their fanbase.


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