Hollywood often has a pack mentality, and some may think so-called “serious” actors are bashing the Kardashians simply because it’s the latest cool thing to do; an expression of their own seriousness as it were.
But the response has been far more visceral to reality gals Kim, Khloe and Kourtney than mere posturing would seem to require. Oddly, the Kardashians are creatures of Hollywood.
Their late-father Robert Kardashian, best known for defending O.J. Simpson, was a high-powered lawyer who was widely respected in Hollywood and had many friends there. In a sense, A-list actors are turning on one of their own. So why are the so vocal?
The problem is the whole Kardashian ethos. So many talented young actors are struggling to find work because of reality television. It’s programming on the cheap. No acting talent is required and the people who appear on those shows are paid peanuts compared to scripted television.
In effect, they are debasing the craft of acting. The fact that the Kardashians are successful at it makes them a lightning rod for criticism. Renner, who recently starred in “The Bourne Legacy” rolled his eyes when asked about them in an interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
He called them “ridiculous people with zero talent.” They “spend their lives making sure everyone knows their name,” he added, calling them “stupid, stupid people.”
“Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart was particularly harsh on Kardashian, Hilton and others for using sex tapes to become famous, calling them fakes, liars and “not honest.”
“They’re lying while that video is being made,” she explained. “The act is in itself a lie. You’re faking something. The girl is lying there, she’s pretending that she doesn’t know the camera’s on, she’s getting banged, and ‘accidentally’ it leaks out? Everyone leaks their own sex tapes!
While Renner noted that most actors try to eschew publicity, the Kardashian’s openly court it. That’s one of the reasons Beyonce didn’t want Kardashian in her inner circle, even though she’s dating her husband’s best friend.
They are, in short, famous for being famous. What’s perplexing about the Kardashian’s is how they maintain their popularity. They long-ago eclipsed Paris Hilton, who pioneered reality television. Hilton was hooted into obscurity, but similar criticism just rolls off the Kardashian’s backs.
Actor Daniel Craig went so far as to call them “f*cking [idiots]… who get paid millions of dollars to make spectacles of themselves.
“The fact that the Kardashians could be more popular than a show like ‘Mad Men’ is disgusting. It’s super disgusting to be a part of that culture,” actor Jonah Hill told The Huffington Post last year.
“Mad Men” star Jon Hamm also didn’t mince words. “Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated,” he told the UK edition of Elle magazine.
“Being a f**king idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly. Incuriousness has become cool… It’s celebrated. It doesn’t make sense to me,” he added.
Indeed, through it all, the Kardashian’s have amassed more than 41 million Twitter followers, which makes them a potent marketing force for that reason alone. Every time the brand falters they revive it by manufacturing new dramas.
Kim starts dating Kanye. Kourtney has a baby. Momager Kris Jenner revives an old affair. Khloe rallies her fallen NBA husband. Teens Kylie and Kendall Jenner flaunt their underage sexuality.
They’ve replaced soap operas for melodrama, but instead of being actors playing characters, they are the characters. Even though the shows seem increasingly contrived, as long as the masses believe them, they’ll continue to rule, no matter how much Hollywood hates them.
In the end, the best snub would be not to acknowledge them at all.