It’s getting really, really, really hard to give Kendall and Kylie Jenner the benefit of the doubt, hey.
They’re young! They live in a bubble! Kendall didn’t realise she was getting involved with something that made a sham out of the very nature of protests, resisting, and social change!
Yeah…. nah. The sisters’ latest flub is to release a line of ‘vintage’ t-shirts that a) are not vintage b) retail for US $125 and c) literally superimpose their own faces over deceased black rappers Tupac and Biggie.
Kendall and Kylie printed their faces over Tupac and Biggie portraits…. this ain’t cool. pic.twitter.com/huVzgva5iK
— PRADASLUT (@angeIichoe) June 28, 2017
So who’s gonna start flaming Kendall and Kylie for putting their trash initials over Tupac’s face? pic.twitter.com/0O6VhI9mUE
— keely ?? (@KeelyRink) June 28, 2017
Tupac and Biggie weren’t the only artists referenced in the t-shirt collection. The whole ~vibe~ was iconic album artwork, presumably to tap into the highly lucrative ‘early 20s gal wanted unearned street cred for Instagram’ market, and also used the artwork of KISS, Metallica, Pink Floyd and The Doors.
But while the whole collection is deeply uncomfortable, it was the appropriation of the images of Tupac and Biggie that was just outright insulting (the Kardashian-Jenners are no stranger to accusations of black appropriation).
Now it appears they didn’t even contact Biggie’s estate to clear the image use. Biggie’s mum Voletta Wallace slammed the t-shirts on Instagram, calling out the Jenners for exploiting his death.
“I am not sure who told Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner that they had the right to do this,” she wrote on Instagram. “The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst.”
I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful , disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!
Rolling Stone reports that The Doors also sent a cease-and-desist letter to the sisters, and that they were not contacted about the collection either.
“This is a case of people who fashion themselves as celebrities who are famous for being well-known but don’t actually do anything trying to utilise and steal and capitalise on the legacies of those who actually did do something and created amazing art and messages,” said Jeff Jampol, manager of The Doors and the Jim Morrison estate. “It’s ironic, at least, and criminal, at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically.”
The t-shirts have since been removed, and both Kendall and Kylie have posted identical messages of apology.
“These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologise to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists,” they said. “We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in anyway. The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry.”
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) June 29, 2017
Photo: Kendall & Kylie.