Last week the CW premiered their new reality show High Society, which features a group of rich people living it up in New York City. One of the most buzzed-about aspects of the show had to do with some of the things said by socialite Jules Kirby on the subject of homosexuals, black people, Jewish people and obese people.
According to the New York Post, Kirby responded to the way the show made her look on her facebook page after last week’s premiere episode, saying, “I am sorry if you were offended. The show is scripted, and we are given lines and characters. My grandmother is married to a Jew . . . Everything was cut and pasted to make it look like I was a stupid bitch, and I regret that they do not do a better job of saying it is a docusoap, not a reality show."
During the episode that aired, Kirby’s interview included the following quote:
“My friends do tend not to be homosexuals, fat or Jewish people, and black guys. And I only like white guys. I use the N-word sometimes, but I really think it should be ok to say. My dream is to work for the United Nations.”
In all fairness to Kirby, it does appear that what she said was cut and pasted together. However, her original thoughts on the subjects of homosexuals, the obese, and Jewish people don’t appear to shine a better light on her.
TV Guide posted the (mostly) uncut video of Kirby’s interview for the show. It adds a bit more context to what she said, but it doesn’t seem to make her appear any more tolerant. In fact, she admits that she’s not a tolerant person. Below is a partial transcript of what’s in the video. If you want to see the full interview, which does include some cuts, which I’m guessing were so they could patch together the relevant statements on this issue, check it out here.
“I didn’t want to go to one club because there was gonna be rap music and black guys and I only like white guys. I use the N-word sometimes, but I really think it should be ok to say. If a guy can say ‘whore’ they should be able to say the N-word.”
When asked about the context in which she would use the N-word, Kirby said:
“But the thing is, I don’t say it derogatorily, like, I say it like I say “dude.”… And sometimes I do say it angrily.”
The interviewer then asked her if she was a tolerant person, to which she responded:
“No, I’m definitely not tolerant. I definitely am picky about who I want to be around and if I don’t want to be around somebody, I’m not gonna try to make it work out. I don’t like to waste my time with people I don’t want to be with. I think I’m a little bit obsessive compulsive, especially when it comes to the way that people look. And I would prefer to look at someone who’s more like one of my friends. My friends do tend not to be homosexuals and unattractive people and fat people.”
Kirby went on to say (paraphrasing here) that she surrounds herself by attractive people because she has this “compulsive thing” where she can’t control what she says. She said she can’t look at people who are gross to her, like fat people, and that she’s not “exactly racist” and it’s not like she hates gay people. She sort of trails off after that.
Anyone familiar enough with the reality TV genre in general knows that these interviews do tend to be chopped up by the producers in an effort to get the most out of what’s been said. And I’m sure there have been plenty of cases where people’s comments have been taken out of context or else, chopped up and patched together to imply (or state) something entirely different from what they said but in Kirby’s case, it appears what was shown was just a condensed sample of her intolerance.
High Society airs Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c on The CW.
Catch the first episode on CW's website here.