Not everyone thinks Kim Kardashian West donned blackface intentionally to promote her new beauty line in a series of ads.
The hosts of The Talk spoke on the controversy on Tuesday, with Aisha Tyler bringing up Kardashian West’s ties to the black community.
“This is a woman who is married to a black man, whose children are black,” Tyler said. “Obviously, the way that she feels about the black culture is affectionate and passionate. But that being said, she’s not in blackface.”
Guest cohost Howie Mandel brought up the topic of perception being more important than reality.
“People perceive it as blackface, but the reality is it wasn’t blackface,” Mandel said. “That was just her and that was natural, so much so that she had to lighten the picture so people wouldn’t get mad.”
He added, “We live in a society right now that is really on edge and especially as comedians, we can lose our jobs for something we don’t even mean or didn’t intend and she gets in trouble as a brand for doing something she is not doing.”
Sheryl Underwood said the controversy the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star faces should be used to address other topics, such as cultural appropriation.
“I love Kim Kardashian, I think she’s a wonderful young lady,” Underwood begins. “But, I do think that this should start the dialogue of cultural appropriation and assimilation into other cultures and where do you fit into that.”
Kardashian West, 36, defended herself against the blackface allegations, telling The New York Times that she was “really tan.”
“I would obviously never want to offend anyone,” she said in an interview published Monday. “I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan when we shot the images, and it might be that the contrast was off. But I showed the image to many people, to many in the business. No one brought that to our attention. No one mentioned it.”
She added, “Of course, I have the utmost respect for why people might feel the way they did.”