After Thursday’s surprisingly dramatic episode, Kourtney Kardashian trended for a full day on Twitter, as users debated whether her proclaimed “hatred” for her younger sister, Kim, and presumably the rest of her fame-hungry family was valid after a vicious phone call between the sisters. (Somewhere, Kris Jenner was cheers-ing a Hulu executive.)
It’s safe to say that this high-profile sibling beef has become the next blue and black (or white and gold) dress. Is the Poosh founder being dramatic with her Dolce & Gabbana-related grievances, or does she reasonably just want to be released from nepo-baby hell?
The premiere opens with the family flying to Cabo without Kourtney, seemingly because of the discord between her and Kim in Season 3. In case this riveting debate somehow escaped your memory, Kourtney accused Kim of copying her D&G-sponsored wedding, with the Skims founder signing a deal with the Italian designers immediately after Kourtney tied the knot. The two buried the hatchet on-camera. However, after watching the edited show and seeing what they said about each other behind their backs, Kim and Kourtney are back at square one. Kourtney is especially over it, or, as she dryly puts it, “Dolce-ed out.”
In an early scene, Kim cautiously calls up to Kourtney and invites her to a dinner in Milan for her D&G campaign. Kourtney politely declines and says that they still have “deeper things” to unpack regarding their fight. So they start to dissect the disagreement all over again. And Kim claims she did everything she could to differentiate her collection from Kourtney’s wedding looks. Kourtney retorts that it’s not about the clothes but that Kim wasn’t happy for her at her wedding and had to make a business venture out of her wedding.
“You’re talking about the bullshit details because it’s all your egotistical, selfish mind can think about,” she says. “You cannot stand someone else being the center of attention. You came to my wedding. You couldn’t be happy. You complained from the second you got there to the second you left. That’s what this is about.”
Kourtney calls Kim a narcissist and reminds her that she doesn’t need the Kardashian brand anymore. (Slay.) And Kim retaliates by saying everyone in Kourtney’s life essentially hates her, including her kids. “All of your friends call us complaining,” she says. “Whether you think they’re the ones going to you, they’re all coming to us on the side saying the opposite to us. So we’re all confused. And we’re on a group chat that’s actually labeled ‘Not Kourtney.’” (OMG.) Kourtney calls Kim a witch—which feels way more loaded than the more obvious “bitch”—and hangs up.
Over the course of their reality careers, the Kardashians sisters have gotten into numerous screaming and even physical matches. Yet something about this phone call was more brutal to watch than Kourtney literally knocking the bronzer off of Kim’s face in Season 18 of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Maybe it’s the familiar experience of being stuck in a deadlock with your sibling or someone you care about and not having the tools to get out of it. There’s also the staggering group-chat revelation, which deserves its own investigation. (Twenty bucks says Simon Huck and Jonathan Cheban are in it.)
This divide between Kourtney and the rest of her family has existed for a while at this point. During the tail end of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she complained about not wanting to film as much, and everyone acted like she had leprosy. When she and Kim beat each other up in a hallway, it was because Kim accused Kourtney of not having a work ethic (a.k.a. not wanting to be sent to a million fashion events by their mother). Now it seems like her family’s greed has officially pushed Kourtney to the edge.
I can’t help but think this Dolce & Gabbana situation only comprises 10 percent of her frustrations with her family. In Kourtney’s confessional, we even hear the producer tell her that she “doesn’t have to go into detail” about what got her so angry over the phone. (Boo! Do your job!) But I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some dark secrets to protect.
This whole debacle, and the online response to it, feels reminiscent of Prince Harry’s escape from the British monarchy. Some Twitter users are taking the Lemme founder’s side, arguing that the Kardashian-Jenner clan is probably an extremely toxic and competitive environment to be in. (Remember when they told Khloé to lose weight because she was ruining the family brand?!) Others say that, if Kourtney truly hates working for the Kardashian brand, she shouldn’t have signed on to the Hulu show and just lived on a farm with Travis Barker or something.
In all fairness, I can’t imagine what a hellish experience it would be to fire Kris Jenner as a momager. That’s not to mention the fact that Kourtney’s outnumbered by at least five relatives every time some family business opportunity comes up. So far, Rob is the only sibling to fade from the limelight, but not until he proved to have some severe mental health issues. (He also was never as marketable as any of his sisters.) To think Kourtney can just peace out without any repercussions or her sisters giving her a horrible time, as they’ve done in the past, seems a bit naive.
My main question at this point is: Will this goddamn family ever go to therapy? Off the top of my head, I couldn’t recall a time on any of their E! shows when I had seen them collectively visit a shrink. Then I Googled “Kardashian therapy scene,” and I found a KUWTK clip from 2012 that I had completely forgotten about. Rob accuses Kris of showing favoritism toward his sister and runs a way to sob a bathroom, while Kris looks extremely uncomfortable.
I have to imagine that Kris knows that any sustained family therapy would expose her as a not-so-great mother and be a threat to her empire. There’s no way she’s letting someone with a doctorate degree infiltrate their circle. Plus, their dysfunction clearly makes good TV. And now everyone will tune into the rest of season to watch Kim and Kourtney verbally destroy each other some more. It’s almost like the world’s busiest manager is calculated!
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