Here's what you need to know about the Kendall and Kylie Jenner T-shirt controversy
The Kardashian-Jenner business empire is booming. From makeup, to jeans, and everything in between, it seems like there’s no end to what they’re marketing. Unfortunately, the latest venture from the younger members of the family has backfired in a big way. Kendall and Kylie Jenner recently released a line of vintage T-shirts that drew instant backlash.
And why did so many find these T-shirts so offensive?
The “vintage” shirts featured rock and hip-hop music icons, including Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., overlaid with the faces and bodies of Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Not only did many consider these shirts disrespectful and a form of cultural appropriation, but it quickly became clear that these artists and their estates never gave permission to use the band images and logos. The shirts featured Ozzy Osbourne, The Doors, Pink Floyd, and, as previously mentioned, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
People quickly criticized not only the questionable concept of the shirts, but the high price tag (each shirt retailed for a whopping $125).
But things got serious when the families and estates of the artists in question began to express their displeasure.
Voletta Wallace issued a statement on Instagram, saying that nobody had ever contacted her son Biggie’s estate to get permission to use his image on these shirts.
Sharon Osbourne chimed in as well, upset with the girls for using her husband Ozzy’s image without permission.
Even Paris Jackson, who is friends with Kendall Jenner, voiced her opposition.
With a lot of big-name backlash and the threat of lawsuits, the Jenners pulled the line from their website and removed the images. They also offered a lengthy apology via social media.
While the move to create and market these T-shirts was tone-deaf (at best), it’s also important to remember that Kendall and Kylie Jenner are not the only people involved in the conceptualization and production of their fashion lines. Clearly all parties involved have learned that when it comes to marketing concepts like this one, the backlash is swift and thorough.