As we reported last week, Kim Kardashian has partnered with Lyft to bring “5000 jobs” to former inmates. As TMZ reports, she’s “worked tirelessly on both the federal and local levels to ensure inmates will be provided housing and employment opportunities.” They also detail her upcoming partnership with the ride sharing giant, which goes into effect this week:
Sources with knowledge of Kim’s partnership with rideshare giant Lyft tell us the company has committed services to get up to 5k soon-to-be released inmates to job interviews. We’re told the biggest group of prisoners who have been granted release will get out of prison July 19.
Isn’t it unsurprising that walking billboard Kim Kardashian has tied her activism to a commercial “activation” that nets positive press for an industry battling a PR firestorm? I understand that, according to the quotes we’ve been given, Kim Kardashian believes she’s doing the “right thing.” She “wants to learn” and has been “confused about what she should do” in the past. The latter sentiment, in fact, led to her decision to pursue law (according to her speech last week in the White House announcing this partnership.) But as I read the developing story around this new treaty between Lyft and the White House, I’m reminded of a quote from Jezebel’s interview with Bhairavi Desai, labor activist and founding member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, ahead of the May strike organized by Lyft and Uber drivers:
“[Lyft] has been really savvy on social media. They would even give funding to local non-profits. And so they packaged themselves as members of the 99 percent. [laughs] Meanwhile, they’re financed by Wall Street and all along, were looking for the highest valuation in recent history. [...] They presented themselves as innovators and visionaries with this progressive bent and so even in the labor circles, we had to fight through this wall of support that was built around them. In the beginning, it was harder because they would offer bonuses to drivers to sign up. In the summer of 2015, Uber defeated an effort to cap the number of [for-hire] vehicles [in New York City]. Then in February 2016, they decided to cut drivers’ rates. They said drivers would earn less per fare, but they would be getting more passengers—in other words, drivers would work more for less.”
I can also say with some assurance that Donald Trump likes business. So much, in fact, that he’s crowned himself the king of deregulation. Lyft wants to permanently classify its workers as contract employees, as Quartz reported last week. By partnering with Trump, who gets a photo op with Kim Kardashian in return, this agenda surely inches along. As it’s been said: nobody is free until we are all free. Kim Kardashian has allowed a corporation to entrench its agenda into a decades-long struggle by prison abolition so that it can systematically strip hundreds of thousands of their rights. Many of which come from the same marginalized communities under siege by unjust legal systems. We don’t call it the Prison Industrial Complex for nothing!
Update, 11:46 a.m.: A spokesperson for Lyft tells us, “We are partnered with Cut50, who is also pattered with KKW. We aren’t partnered with the White House—but are nonetheless proud to be supporting the work Cut50 is doing. The way this will work is that we will supply ride credits through Cut50—who works to help support people who have recently been released from incarceration.
This isn’t a sponsorship but a partnership—one in which we supply services directly to Cut50.”
Imagine a room where Mariah Carey, Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss are having a “girls night out!” Helpfully aggregated by Entertainment Tonight, they describe the festivities below:
The group stunned in the pic, with all the ladies dressed to the nines. Anderson, 51, wore light-colored dress and, like Carey, flashed a giant grin, while Campbell, 49, and Moss, 45, stuck to black gowns and serious looks for the photo op.
As far as I could tell, the quartet are acquainted through the circles of the rich and famous. Naomi, Mariah, and Kate were the easiest to connect. It was Pamela Anderson and Mariah who I had to investigate. I turned up some old photos of Mariah Carey partying with Pamela Anderson and Prince Azim of Brunei. If walls could talk! Thankfully, that’s literally a gossip’s job. Here’s some possible conversation starters for the next time our girls tear up the town:
- Naomi Campbell’s “blood diamonds” saga at a dinner party with Nelson Mandela. If she’s bored of it, maybe a rundown of the couture she wore to community service.)
- Mariah Carey’s recent legal battle with an ex-assistant that “filmed her inappropriately.” The assistant alleges that Carey watched her former manager pee on her.
- Kate Moss’ star turning moment as the chain-smoking supermodel emerging from the River Thames. (I decided to be generous with Kate.)
- Do you think Pamela Anderson mentioned her fears of assassination on behalf of Julian Assange?
- Tinsley Mortimer fears for her life...as a reality television “star.” [Page Six]
- Questionably skilled dog trainer Cesar Millan has vowed to tame the Playboy Mansion’s “PissyAfrican Crane.” [TMZ]
- It’s a sad day, considering we’ll no longer see Christmas photos featuring Goop and Dakota Johnson. [Page Six]
- O.J. Simpson calls rumor that he’s Khloe Kardashian’s father “tasteless.” [Us Weekly]
- Bella Thorne got ahead of alleged hacking by posting her own nudes. [The Blast]