The Plot Thickens As Magazine Journalist Responds Following Kim Kardashian’s Own Clarification Of Women In Business Comments

screenshot of Kim Kardashian
(Image credit: Vogue)

While a lot of eyes have been trained on the Oscars and their aftermath in recent days, Kim Kardashian has been hard at work trying to fix a perception she made in a recent interview about, well, working hard. The SKIMS founder and reality star recently talked about getting her “ass up” to “work, leading to some polarizing takes from the ladies on The View and elsewhere online. Then yesterday she backtracked but now some of the magazine employees involved have also commented online. That’s a lot to unpack, but let’s give it a whirl. 

Kim Kardashian Initially Commented: “Get Your Fucking Ass Up And Work”

Kim Kardashian was being interviewed by Variety a few weeks back. The interview was caught on video but also put out in print. In it, Kim Kardashian was asked – reportedly– what her “best advice” was for ladies in the working world and she said: 

Get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.

This is noted, she did say this. As a reported billionaire, I don’t think anyone could dispute that Kim Kardashian has made a lot of money in the business world, from fashion and beauty lines to a TV and social media empire and other projects in between. She's allegedly worth even more than her successful half-sister Kylie Jenner, so she does have a leg to stand on in the business world. 

But some people felt Kim’s comment didn’t really tell the whole story. As the daughter of Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner, Kim and her siblings have had a charmed and financially supported life from the start. Though they’ve gotten into business themselves, they didn’t have to rise above circumstances or start from scratch. As criticizers noted, “a leg up” is often what you need to find success and not simply hard work. Or, as Joy Behar noted on The View:

I’m making the point that a leg up is what you need in this world and not everybody – my mother worked so hard all her life. She was a sewing machine operator. That was it for her until she died, you know? So who worked harder than that? Nobody that I knew.

Kim Kardashian Says Her Comments Were Taken Out Of Context 

Obviously, there have been a lot of hot takes about this one comment from this much longer interview. Because of this, Kim Kardashian responded yesterday, sitting down with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts to share what she feels happened. You can see part of the interview here:

See more

In it, Kim Kardashian says basically that she was reacting to a previous question with maybe a little more hostility than she intended and what she was talking about specifically was building a social media presence. Or as she put it,

Well, that statement that I said was without questions and conversations around it and it became a soundbite really with no context. And that soundbite came off of the notion, and the question right before, which was: ‘After 20 years in the business you’re famous for being famous.’ And I, my whole tone and attitude changed with the previous question that went into that question about ‘What advice would you give to women?’ The advice that I would give would just be that having a social media presence and being on a reality show down not mean immediate success.

She also told Robin Roberts she never intended her comment to be taken as a “blanket statement towards women.” Instead, she says she was trying to get across that building a social media empire ain’t easy. But that’s not where this tale ends.

The Plot Thickens As Journalists Respond To Kim Kardashian's Clarifications

While Variety hasn’t specifically responded to Kim Kardashian’s Robin Roberts interview, a journalist at the outlet has. Kate Arthur, the Editor-in-Large at the outlet, took to Twitter to share her own response to Kim Kardashian’s response (that one’s a little hard to follow), noting:

Every outlet going with Kim Kardashian saying her comments were "taken out of context," please do refer to the video for Elizabeth Wagmeister’s story, which provides the context to the question, which was: "What's your best advice for women in business?

Arthur followed up to also note this reminded her of a time Chloë Sevigny trashed Big Love and then later said it was taken out of context, also on Twitter. Though at another point she seemingly defended Ms. Kardashian when it came to Kim calling out her sister Kourtney for not working hard enough, also noting on Twitter:

See more

While both this tweet and Kardashian’s comments to Robin Roberts confirm she was asked, “What’s your best advice for women in business?," it’s worth noting the Variety interview video the journalist is commenting about crops Kim K.’s words and splices it at the very front of the video as the lead-in, as you can see below. None of the questions the women in the Kardashian clan are asked are shown, either. 

I guess at the end of the day, if you are already a woman in business, you’ve made the first gains toward breaking the glass ceiling in general and probably don’t need Kim Kardashian’s advice. However, I do think that sometimes we’re quick to point out flaws in celebrity comments rather than focusing on the intention, which seems like it could be what happened here. Either way, hopefully now that the comments on the comments on the comments are all out there, this is one story that has run its course. Given it was a joke during the Oscars telecast just a couple of days ago though, who knows? 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.