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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam (07/05/2017)

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Celebrity Slam (07/05/2017) (image courtesy of Instagram)

T-shirt tussle

It’s no secret that we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the Kardashian family in this space over the years. When it comes to celebrity foibles that warrant scorn, mockery and general derision, nobody does it quite like Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and company.

We haven’t taken as many shots at the youngest ladies in the Kardashian clan simply because they were just kids back in the sex tape days when the world was just learning how far Kim was willing to go to be a famous person, to make the leap from Paris Hilton hanger-on to celebrity in her own right.

But there’s no disputing that Kylie and Kendall have been doing their best to make up for lost time. We could go into all of the dating stuff and the weird quasi-Greek tragedy going on with the whole Kylie/Tyga/Rob/Blac Chyna thing, but we don’t have the advanced mathematical skills required to sketch out the specifics of that particular love parallelogram.

No, today we’re talking about, well … T-shirts.

The pair put together a line of shirts for their website where they basically took iconic images of iconic performers, slapped selfies on top of them and sold them. All of this without asking permission or even contacting the performers or their estates. These music icons included Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Ozzy Osbourne, The Doors, Pink Floyd and others; Kylie and Kendall put images of themselves on top and called it good.

Can you imagine living in a world where you think this is OK?

Obviously, all kinds of legal action was set in motion. Biggie’s estate was the first to send out a cease and desist letter, but there were plenty of other shots fired. A highlight came courtesy of Ozzy’s wife Sharon, who tweeted “Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know … lip gloss.”

Solid burn, Sharon.

Kendall and Kylie have since scrubbed their site of all trace of the offending shirts and tweeted an image with the following statement:

“These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists.” 

Other legal issues have arisen – for instance, The Doors have gone ahead and pushed forward legally. They’ve decided that simply saying “Oops” and walking away isn’t sufficient. They’re not wrong.

There are plenty of reasons to take these two to task for this whole thing. But leaving aside the greediness and the general tone-deafness, these are people who have spent time in court fighting against people who have tried to use their images without permission. You know, LITERALLY THE SAME THING THEY DID HERE.

It’s a lot to unpack, for sure. But it shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise – these two have basically been doomed to be the worst of the lot ever since the very first camera arrived to film the very first episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” Yes, the elder trio experienced a life of entitled luxury, but at least they weren’t TV stars while they grew up. Kendall and Kylie spent their formative years in the spotlight; it’s all they know. They don’t remember what it means to not be famous. Stuff like this is perfectly illustrative of their complete and utter self-absorption. Yes, it’s just shirts, but it’s also an example of their worldview – they honestly believe that they operate under different rules than other people.

Yes, they pulled the shirts when the criticism started to rain down. If you’re being charitable, you could conceivably give them a bit of credit for that. But the reality is that something like this is blatant exploitation; it’s as simple as that. And you can’t tell us that there wasn’t someone along the way who told these two that what they were doing was wrong – legally wrong, ethically wrong, culturally wrong, just wrong on every possible level. They just ignored it because they’ve been able to ignore anything and everything that they find the least bit inconvenient since they were basically tweens. They don’t HAVE to care.

So yeah – Kendall and Kylie might not be the lamest Kardashians, but they’re making a hell of a push to get into the conversation.


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