Kim Kardashian knows a thing or two about work. She’s been denied overtime and legally-required breaks. She’s been forced to eat work-related expenses after her boss refused to reimburse her and has been left in the lurch by an employer who wouldn’t pay her adequate wages—oh, wait, I got that part wrong. These specific employment abuses did not, as far as we know, happen to Kim K: According to a lawsuit filed last year by seven people who worked in her household staff, that’s how she treated people who worked for her.
The suit alleges that Kardashian’s former staffers were denied more than $25,000 in wages...which makes her new interview with Variety all the more galling. “I have the best advice for women in business,” Kardashian told the publication. “Get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”
The piece, which profiles the Kardashian women ahead of the debut of their new Hulu reality series, goes on to note that Kim travels on a $95 million dollar private jet that’s been decked out with cashmere walls. (Her reps have denied the accusations in the former employees’ lawsuit, contending that the domestic workers were hired through a third-party.)
Kardashian’s ripped-from-the-Reagan-era harangue couldn’t be more out of step with reality. At the moment, one hour of work at the federal minimum wage isn’t enough to buy two gallons of gas. Nearly two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck—which means that, whether or not we particularly want to get our fucking asses up and work, we have to, if we’d like to enjoy lavish luxuries like shelter. Kim shills shapewear to line her jet in pashmina; the rest of us toil to line our stomachs in, you know, food.
It’s not the first time Kardashian’s suggested that she’s a “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” type. In an interview with fake university-founder Bari Weiss in December, Kardashian said that she believes “in the rights that the Democrats want,” but “in the taxes that the Republicans want.” What she doesn’t seem to understand is that those rights—the right not to be swept up in campaigns of mass incarceration, the right to housing and health care, the right not to be consigned to second-class citizenship based on your race, religion, gender, or sexuality—are impossible to achieve in a society rife with deep economic inequality. When the social safety net is all holes, those who are already marginalized based on ethnicity, disability, or other factors, are most likely to fall through.
As the Variety piece notes, Kim is well aware that she and her family have often been criticized for their “famous for being famous” status. “Who gives a fuck,” she told the magazine. “We focus on the positive. We work our asses off. If that’s what you think, then sorry. We just don’t have the energy for that. We don’t have to sing or dance or act; we get to live our lives—and hey, we made it. I don’t know what to tell you.” Clearly! The one thing she should definitely not spew from her celebrity pulpit, however, is righteous work ethic bullshit.