Occupy Hollywood: Why Kim Kardashian’s Divorce Proves It’s Necessary
Last week, I saw two separate op-eds—one on The Huffington Post and one on Salon—that suggested that now, in the age of Occupy Wall Street, we take a little of the scrutiny we’ve directed at bankers and aim it toward the ridiculous amounts of money celebrities make.
Of course, an Occupy Hollywood movement, the writers argued, won’t be about how our sports and entertainment heroes killed all of our 401Ks or single-handedly tanked our economy. No, an outcry against Hollywood would and should arise because the paychecks and opportunities to amass wealth in the celebrity industry have ballooned to the point of absurdity. And regardless of how much the stars give to charity, paying someone $50 million for one movie is a massive slap in the face to everything from our failing schools to our hungry children to the potholes our own city can’t afford to fix. Should Snooki really be the one percent?
The most compelling argument for such a movement came about two minutes after Kim Kardashian filed her divorce papers: Factoring in all the cash she raked in for wedding-related publicity, they say Kardashian made roughly $10,358 an hour for each of the 72 days she was married.
Besides the deeply disheartening, sign-of-the-End-Times statement this most recent Kardashian debacle makes about our culture, this bit of financial news seemed tragic to me on another level, too: How totally depressing is it that, while much of the world watched, a woman already worth $35 million sold herself off for still more (and more and more) cash?
Whether this marriage was a mistake or a sham is irrelevant. (Though the tabloids will make millions pondering the question, which will in turn make Ms. Kardashian more money.) The whole thing—the “reality” show, the wedding, the magazine covers, the PR call made to Ryan Seacrest the day of the divorce filing—comes off so desperate and grasping and empty and unsavory that I deeply wish I knew nothing about it. (I didn’t watch the wedding, but I’ll admit that my click-through addiction to People.com makes me part of the problem.)
And yeah, I know: Kim is taking her sad existential emptiness all the way to the bank. They say she’s going to make even more money now, as a born-again-single. And then she will float on oceans of champagne, and eat diamonds, or whatever the end goal of this whole endeavor is.
But I think about my husband, and our Chanel-less reality, and our not-for-profit marriage, and it honestly makes me sad to see her, floating in so much profitable phony.
So I’m thinking that yes, maybe we’d be doing everyone—her, us, our children, humanity as a whole—a favor if we all just stopped the madness here. I suppose for me, that would begin with giving up a little People.com. Though I also liked one co-worker’s idea about developing a computer/television blocker for all things Kardashian. A K-chip, call it. (You can go ahead and use that idea if you want to, Occupy Hollywood. It might be a start.)