When Kim Kardashian worked with the Trump administration to pass the 2018 criminal justice bill, the First Step Act, she received a lot of criticism for working with Trump. Kim’s reply? “I really don’t care about the criticism. I mean, my reputation over someone’s life? Destroy me then. I really don’t care. It was not even an option. And he did the right thing. I’m just about doing the right thing; I’m really not about politics at all. It’s really about the people inside and if I can do anything – no matter if it’s Obama, Biden, Trump, I’m willing to work with anybody. It’s not really about being liked. If I could change someone's life, that’s what it’s about for me.”
Kim’s attitude of choosing the right thing and choosing her priorities over party lines also lends itself to her disapproval of cancel culture. She told Bari Weiss, “If I worried about every last thing that someone said and I had to try to change it, then I would never be me. Anyone wouldn’t be them! That’s why I think cancel culture is the most ridiculous thing, because I really do believe – and you and I have been at several dinners together where people are discussing their thoughts on it – in rehabilitation and freedom of speech. I’ve never really been into cancel culture.”
I’m just about doing the right thing; I’m really not about politics at all.
When asked how she decides when to ignore criticism and when to be open to change, Kim said, “I believe that if we cancel someone for something that they had done or said in their past, then we’re not inviting them into the conversation to really understand. It depends on the situation. You might not care if it’s absolutely ridiculous. But it’s a fine line.”
She continued, “The more that I don’t care about fame, the less I care to correct people. I don’t really care what people think about me, but there’s some times where I say, ‘OK, I completely understand how you would feel like this is disrespectful, and I will absolutely change this.’ I always own up to the mistakes that I make and I try not to make them again. That’s just how I live my life. But I think if you don’t have these conversations with people, how are they ever going to change something that isn't right?”
As an example, Kim discussed how her SKIMS brand was originally named Kimono, until she received a letter from Japanese officials. She immediately halted production and chose a new name to avoid “something as serious as cultural appropriation.”
I always own up to the mistakes that I make and I try not to make them again.
Kim also reflected on what she learned from the 2018 incident when her now ex-husband Kanye West performed on SNL wearing the red MAGA hat. She didn’t want Kanye to wear it and tried to persuade him not to. Kim said, “And now looking back, I think, why should he take that off if that’s what he believes in? Why can’t he wear that on TV? Half of the country voted for [Trump], so clearly other people like him. I learned a lot from that situation. No matter what, it taught me to be a little bit more empathetic for people that just want to do what they want to do: freedom of speech! And if you want to wear the hat, wear the hat. I respect the fact that [Kanye] knew exactly what he believed in and always stood by that. To me, that’s a good quality to have, no matter who is against you and no matter what the circumstances are. I think that it’s just admirable and it’s just a really cool quality.”
Kim Kardashian isn’t the only celebrity to condemn cancel culture in recent years. Popstar Madonna criticized it just last month, saying that “the censoring that’s going on in the world right now” is “pretty frightening.” And in June 2020, over 150 authors and activists signed an open letter to end cancel culture.
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