The Problem with Kim and Kanye

Intimate Partner Violence in Hollywood

If you know anything about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, you’ll know that there are, in fact, many problems regarding the celebrity exes.  From Kim Kardashian’s insensitive remarks telling women to “get up and work” to Kanye’s antisemitic statements on Instagram, the duo largely represents what is wrong with Western society.

Over the course 2022, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have gone through a very public, very messy divorce.  They had been together for eight years, married for six, and have four young children together.  The drama and controversy associated with the exes has been pretty hard to miss if you’ve used the Internet at all in the past year.  Kim Kardashian made headlines when she began dating (and eventually broke up with) SNL-alum Pete Davidson.  Meanwhile, Kanye, who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, has been speculated to be going through a mental health crisis—repeatedly engaging in hate-filled online rants targeting Kim, her family, Pete Davidson, and many others.  The most shocking of which includes accusing Kim of kidnapping their children and threatening to harm Pete Davidson while he and Kim were in a relationship.

Listen—I’m a sucker for celebrity gossip.  I love indulging in TMZ articles, trash TV, and YouTube tea channels when I have a minute to relax; but the drama between Kim and Kanye has crossed the line from silly entertainment to a terrifying display of domestic violence.

For victims of intimate partner violence, leaving the relationship is the most dangerous time.  The abuser is losing control of the victim and they will take desperate measures attempting to regain that control.  One study found that an abusive man murdering his female partner was almost always precipitated by the victim leaving or threatening to leave.  Although we don’t know what was going on behind closed doors when Kim and Kanye were together, the media has documented the escalation of Kanye’s erratic, manipulative, and threatening behaviour since Kim left.  Furthermore, Kanye made open threats to Kim’s new partner, Pete Davidson.  Kanye even went so far as to depict himself killing Pete in the music video for his song “Eazy.” Another study of intimate partner homicides found 20% of homicide victims were not the domestic violence victims themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.

In light of these statistics, it is incredibly disturbing that the media continues to minimize Kanye’s abuse of Kim, even painting it as funny or romantic.  Not only is this further victimizing Kim and her children, but it also has the potential to trigger other victims of domestic violence who may relate Kanye’s behaviour to the actions of their own abuser.  The media continuing to capitalize on this situation also sends the message to young, impressionable minds that this terrifying behaviour is no big deal; that this is what relationships can sometimes look like.

Trever Noah, host of The Daily Show, has been one of the few celebrities to date to call out Kanye West’s abuse of Kim.  He publicly addressed the situation, saying that it’s been “spun into a story that seems fully tabloid but I think deserves a little more awareness from the general public, because it touches on something that is more sensitive and more serious than people would like to admit.” He goes on to explain, “You may not feel sorry for Kim because she’s rich and famous, because of the way she dresses, because she appropriates black culture, because she tells women they’re lazy, broke the internet and then didn’t put it back together, whatever, you hate her.  But what she’s going through is terrifying to watch, and it shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave.”

Trever poignantly goes on to say, “If Kim Kardashian cannot escape this, then what chance do normal women have?”

Kim Kardashian has an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion.  She has security guards, a closeknit family, influential friends, and all of the resources in the world at her fingertips.  Yet, she cannot escape Kanye’s abuse.

It is time that the media calls out Kanye West’s behaviour for what it actually is—intimate partner violence.  It’s time that the media stops giving an abuser a platform to continue harassing his ex-wife.  It is time that we, as consumers, stop engaging in content that is perpetuating violence against women.  It’s time that Kanye is forced to stop abusing Kim and is held accountable for his actions.