I have never in my life seen one family so embroiled in so many PR disasters on a regular basis as I have the Kardashians. I’m probably exaggerating given that I live in the UK where the Royal family is the blueprint for PR Crisis management control but I’m patriotic (sometimes) so today we focus on The Americans. It almost makes me wish that I had spent an iota of my time watching one of their numerous reality TV shows just so that I can understand how and why that family is so popular, rich and successful. But this is not a piece about judgement this is a piece about my genuine fascination with celebrity PR given that I have never worked in that sector before. But then the Kardashians are not simply celebrities, they are actually a business brand worth millions so my fascination is not misguided. I am literally in awe with the crisis management wheels behind that family who literally are just walking PR disasters and yet still they thrive, still they rise. From Kendell Jenner and her love of soft drink endorsement deals to Rob Kardashian’s perverse and unacceptable use of social media I just can’t keep up. I know they thrive on attention but my goodness there has to be a limit. I don’t even have to watch one of their shows, even if you don’t follow any of them you would have to be living under a rock to miss the regular Kardashian calamities. I really want to know who their publicists are. I want to attend a meet and greet at their PR agent’s office just so that I can look into the eyes of the professionals who have to deal with them on a regular basis. Honestly they have their crisis management response framework down to a fine art.
The latest crisis being Kim Kardashian’s attempt to police black women’s justifiable offence and cancellation of a YouTube MakeUp influencer called Jeffree Star who has on numerous occasions shown himself to be a racist. No need for any foundation, highlighter or concealer to cover up the truth, the man has made racist and offensive comments and nobody should be endorsing that behaviour. However Kim deemed it appropriate to be this individual’s biggest brand ambassador, probably because of the amount money that the positive reviews of her entire make up line brings into bank account.
Here is Kim telling black women (and anyone who cancelled him) to get over it.
— BallerAlert (@balleralert) August 15, 2017
I don’t think it was even 24 hours before she issued this “apology” using the standard buzz words that most celebrity publicists endorse “Didn’t know” and “naive”
Kim just posted an apology for defending Jeffree Star pic.twitter.com/lCQpXI6xFX
— la bella vita (@drugproblem) August 15, 2017
As a PR pro I could see how this was going to pan out, especially given the backlash that obviously ensued. The condescending and very patronising tone of that initial video showed that she knew what she was doing and what she was saying so her “apology” seems extremely disingenuous. There comes a point that whilst apologies are standard procedure for crisis management we have to be real! She has to own her own privilege and admit that she had no place or right to tell any group of people how to deal with their pain or upset. She should have acknowledged that her proximity to blackness through her husband and her children does not give her a pass to speak on black issues and that in future she will align herself with influencers who are not constantly being pulled up for their racist and ignorant behaviour. This is just a short insight into my perspective of it all given that I am not on the Kardashian retainer payroll so I can’t give too much away for free here. Here’s until their next PR crisis, hopefully they will eventually learn how to stay in their lane.