Kim Kardashian is “badly shaken but physically unharmed” after being robbed at gunpoint in a Paris hotel room Sunday evening. According to the French Interior Ministry, five men threatened the hotel’s concierge with a weapon, handcuffed him, and forced him to give them access to Kardashian’s room. Two of the men got in, bound and gagged Kardashian, held her at gunpoint, and stole $ 10 million worth of jewelry. “She begged for them to let her live and [said] she has babies at home,” a representative for Kardashian told E! News. “They wrapped her mouth in tape and put her in the bathtub. She thought they were for sure going to kill her.” The event prompted Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, to abruptly leave his performance at New York music festival Meadows NYC.
Naturally, the Twitterverse erupted, voicing two major opinions. While a ton of Twitter users rushed to offer sympathy for Kardashian and her family, a handful of others decided this was a great opportunity to lambast and mock her. Which, you know, is wholly inappropriate given the circumstances. Users ridiculed Kardashian for “not Snapchatting the whole thing,” joked that she was robbed by the same (nonexistent) people who mugged Ryan Lochte, and accused her of being robbed as a ploy for attention. Others escalated the conversation by victim-blaming, claiming that Kardashian was at fault for her own robbery because she “walks around with 11 million dollars in jewelry” and “runs around practically naked, throwing herself at the media.” One particularly heinous user actually used this as a chance to make a rape joke, tweeting, “Is it true that Kim Kardashian has been raped under gunpoint? Or is it another sex tape of her? Gross.” There is no indication that a sexual assault occurred, and rape is never a laughing matter.
Now let’s get something straight: You are totally allowed to dislike Kim Kardashian and her family. I happen to find the whole Kardashian phenomenon really interesting, but you are more than welcome to resent them for their seemingly unearned wealth and fame. That said, disliking someone and ridiculing them for enduring a traumatic event are two very different things. As one astute Twitter user pointed out, “PSA: There’s a huge difference between disliking Kim Kardashian and reveling in a woman being bound and held at gunpoint.”
Another subgroup of users complained about West leaving in the middle of his Meadows NYC performance. The rapper was 45 minutes into his set when he told the audience he had to leave due to a “family emergency.” Moments later, concert personnel confirmed the show was over. Festival-goers were shocked and confused, and many took to Twitter to air their grievances. Some users said West “messed up their whole life,” others criticized him for not finishing the show, and others simply tweeted broken heart emojis. And trust me, I get it. I’ve been trying to see Kanye West in concert since I first discovered his music in high school. I was planning to see him at a different music festival this summer, but his performance got rained out. So yeah, it’s a bummer that his set got cut short. But that’s nothing compared to how West must have felt when he found out his wife was being held at gunpoint in an entirely different country—and more importantly, how Kardashian felt while experiencing the trauma. If that doesn’t qualify as a family emergency, I don’t know what does.
Several celebrities rushed to Kardashian’s defense, and some of them shared much-needed wisdom. Chrissy Teigen used the Twitter hate to illustrate an interesting point about fame and double standards. “Fame is interesting,” she tweeted. “Celebs are supposed to love you guys while also knowing you’d make a meme of our dead bodies to get retweets.” Teigen went on to advocate for more empathy in society as a whole. “Please do not think that I think celebrities are special snowflakes,” she tweeted. “I just miss empathy, in general, for everyone.” James Corden also went in on the assholes making fun of Kardashian. “People making jokes about Kim Kardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend,” Corden wrote. “Be nice or shut up.”
The important thing here is that Kim Kardashian is OK. She escaped unharmed, and her family is fine, as well. Say what you will about the Kardashians—or the rich and famous in general—but no one deserves to be tied up and robbed. Being held hostage isn’t a joke. And our thoughts are with the Kardashian-West family in this frightening time.
SELF – Culture