The news starting trickling down my Twitter feed on Monday morning, "Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce after 72 days" and then the sarcastic comments quickly began. Does Kim Kardashian deserve our sympathy or our snark? The allure of fame and money has become a part of our national culture. The local news reports it, your national morning shows feature it, and of course, every entertainment news outlet is on the story. I have to ask though; at what point do we draw the line? Is this a marriage of monetary convenience with high dollar amounts at stake? Is it a girl who has the stars (i.e. cameras) in her eyes so the only reality is what is happening on camera? Or is it just a simple marriage gone wrong? (With a $10 million wedding, that argument is hard to defend.)
Kim and her mom, Kris Jenner, came out in full force on two different continents to defend the quick marriage and divorce proceedings. Coincidentally or not, Kris is promoting her book "Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian," so the pleas that the couple did not make money off of the wedding special kind of fell on deaf ears when NBC "Today Show" co-host, Ann Curry, pointed out that they did make money off of selling the photo rights of the engagement, bachelor parties, wedding, and honeymoon. Perhaps they didn't make a profit, but they certainly made money. I also imagine that many vendors donated items in return for promotional consideration. Suddenly the tab on that $10 million wedding starts ticking downward.
Then, there's the "made for TV" marriage rumor out there. Was the entire relationship a sham? According to Kris Jenner, E!, and Kim herself, they all say it was real and the marriage happened for love. Now, I don't know what wedding special they were watching, but the one I saw involved a bride who was so self-absorbed in the day, not the life, and a sarcastic groom who really wasn't that kind to his future wife on camera. Where was the love? Where was the romance? It didn't exist. Kris Jenner said yesterday morning on "The Today Show" that "We have enough going on our show that we don't have to make things up." Oh really, Kris? I had a friend participate in an episode that involved you dancing, getting injured, and then requiring knee surgery. Allegedly, your knee surgery was already scheduled and E! created a storyline around this injury. While this is done all of the time on "reality shows," don't try and claim that your show is 100% real.
If you put it out there, sell to us, ask us to buy it, and we do, you have to expect a backlash. I have seen the adverse reaction all over Facebook and Twitter, but I wanted to hear what my reality show experts had to say:
"There isn't an ounce of me that thinks any of her relationship with Kris Humphries was real. The Kardashian name is all about self-promotion and making money. Everything came together so quickly, then to have the engagement and marriage just in time for the finale of her season...much too convenient for my taste… Nothing she does is sincere...I don't buy any of it. And ending it after 72 days pretty much proves my point."
Steve Carbone of Reality Steve
"Seeing as I was once on a reality show and know first hand how hard being judged by stranger is and just how much those words can really hurt, I try so hard not to judge. Here is my problem with the Kim K and Kris situation. The Kardashian family has made millions…and I'm not really sure why, other than people are enamored by their lifestyle. Because they seem to put a price tag on everything, of course the whole world now thinks that the whole marriage was a sham or a pr stunt. The Kardashians have control over what we see about them in almost every sense of the word. I just hope that this teaches Kim what a huge impact she has on young women and that maybe some things should be kept private, and outside of the TV world."
Krisily Kennedy, "Bachelor Pad" / "The Bachelor," Season 7
"We don't tell a story that isn't already there. BUT, the fame of being on the show affects the way people act and the choices they make. We don't create things that aren't there. But we enhance and encourage sensationalism, because people like watching it. For my show, the success of season 1 is affecting the way they act, the things they do, the opportunities they get."
Anonymous, Working behind the scenes on a current reality show, not The Kardashians' show.
"Keep in mind that these reality stars don't LIVE in an "off-camera world." Remember the line from Madonna's "Truth or Dare" in which Warren Beatty remarks that she doesn't want to LIVE if it's not on-camera? That's the reality show culture, today. So it's ONLY if their relationship can endure the on-camera scrutiny that they should even give it a shot. Even authentic, off-camera moments are spent in service of the on-camera brand, because that's where their money is made. This won't impact anyone's brand. If anything, viewership will increase to find out, "What went wrong?!?" You watch!"
Bonnie Gillespie, Producer/Casting Director
"This is what you invited. This is what you signed up for. Public feedback. We love you, we hate you, we love you, we hate you. You signed up, this is what, this is what you get. You get public reaction. We're sorry that most of us feel like you scammed us 72 days."
Michael Buckley AKA Buck Hollywood ranting about the Kardashians on his YouTube Channel.
Now, E! is certainly not shying away from the controversy. They are running wall-to-wall coverage on E! News in addition to replaying the Kardashians' "True Hollywood Story," "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," and yes, the infamous wedding special. But if you really want someone to blame for all of this mess, write to Executive Producer Ryan Seacrest, he's the one that started it all.
What are your thoughts on the Kardashian debacle? Was the marriage a sham? Will you continue watching their show or are you finally ready to tune out? Leave your comments below and I will respond to your thoughts and opinions.