Kim Kardashian-West kicked up a kerfuffle online when her Halloween costume — Aaliyah from the “Try Again” music video — was deemed exploitative by some Twitter users. Today, Kardashian-West used her website to make a statement addressing the backlash against her — and, as with all things Kardashian, ensure that a little money was made in the process.
Kardashian-West posted a video preview of her costume to her Twitter three days before Halloween, which riled some users who stridently protested her appearance as a Black music icon. “Legend or not Aaliyah is a black woman and you’re not. It’s offensive and you shouldn’t push this limit, but ok…” wrote one user who objected to her costume.
Kardashian-West responded with the statement on her site, but oddly, the statement is behind the site’s paywall, which while being tremendously on-brand for a family who’s primarily made their bones by responding to various controversies, seems like a poor way to actually get eyeballs on it.
Aaliyah was such an amazing singer and she will forever be a music legend. I saw online that some people thought my costume was in poor taste and I am truly sorry if that offended anyone. When I was creating the costume, I wasn’t dressing up as a race or culture but rather as a woman whom I will always admire. I play every kind of genre of music in my home and I like for my kids to be exposed to many different artists. We don’t see color in my home.
We were paying homage to people and artists we love and respect— it’s that simple!
Truthfully, there’s a whole lot of complicated racial politics behind the Kardashian families adjacence to Blackness. However, the one thing you never want to do with these sort of situations is fall back on “I don’t see color.” Especially when her awkward, but strangely insightful, interview with Jimmy Kimmel stand-in Jennifer Lawrence directly contradicts that idea. She has a point, but like all of her apologies, she undermines it by using the same language as people who are known for exploiting Black culture and celebrity for personal gain.