Kim Kardashian would have a difficult time sneezing without driving fans and critics insane. So when the New York Times asked Kardashian to tell them her side of the recent blackface controversy, the reality star went into damage control mode as though she’d been Charlie Sheen’s publicist in a previous life.
“I would obviously never want to offend anyone,” she said. “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.”
Kardashian was referring to a recent photo she used to promote her new cosmetics line KKW Beauty. The usually tanned style icon looked particularly dark in the image, which ignited the internet outrage machine with accusations that Kardashian was wearing blackface.
While it’s unlikely that someone as image-savvy as Kardashian would ever do something so overtly racist, it is something of a miracle that the image was never flagged for being potentially problematic before it made it onto her various social media accounts. Also, we should note that she’s literally married to a black man, with whome she has two kids. Kim Kardashian isn’t wearing blackface in the image. Full stop.
Kardashian acknowledged that the proliferation of the image was a direct result of a lot of different people messing up. “I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it,” she said.
To her credit, she didn’t plead ignorance, and acknowledged why the image could be called offensive. “I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did,” she said. “But we made the necessary changes to that photo and the rest of the photos. We saw the problem, and we adapted and changed right away. Definitely I have learned from it.”
The Kardashians have been accused of cultural insensitivity on more than one occasion. But if there’s one thing that they benefit more from than cultural appropriation, it’s drama, both real and manufactured.
This latest incident is a perfect example of what they do so well. Spark a controversy. Douse it with water, and move onto the next one with their place in the news cycle firmly in tact. We’ll see you in a few days, Kim.