The Kardashian-Jenners are undoubtedly the most famous and recognizable family in America, thanks to a bevy of surgically-enhanced beauties who have passed on their good genes to the next generation (Kardashian Baby Boom, anyone?). They are some of the most-followed people on social media with multiple brand deals, endorsements, and 15 seasons of their reality show. As we have come to know them and see them grow and change, more and more people have become divided on this famous family, saying they're shallow, greedy celebrities without a shred of talent, while others argue that their business savvy and brand knowledge are what have allowed them to make millions.
With all that fame comes a great deal of scrutiny, naturally. One would think that having cameras following them 24/7 would capture all the good stuff, but thanks to candid interviews, ill-advised PR moves, relationship troubles, and social media, the Kardashian family has been caught up in tons of drama since getting into the limelight.
While some of these are impossible to forget, there are others that the famous fam has tried to make us forget, or sweep under the rug completely. While they may have downplayed their actions, we’ve got all the receipts right here.
Kylie Jenner may be (according to Forbes) the youngest self-made billionaire, but in 2017 she, along with sister Kendall, definitely made a business faux pas that was a major drama.
The sisters released a line of T-shirts featuring their faces superimposed over the photos of deceased rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., as well as living legends like Ozzy Osbourne. Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, said no one from her son’s estate had been contacted for permission, while a lawsuit for Shakur was also filed (it was later dropped).
Kendall Jenner is an old pro at walking the runways these days, but back in 2014 she was still new to the game – and boy, did she make a splash! Barely 18, Jenner strutted her stuff on the catwalk for Marc Jacobs’s fall collection in a completely sheer top that gave the world a full-frontal view of her chest.
Naturally, critics took to Twitter to voice their displeasure, but big sister Khloé tweeted back that they were just “haters” who would “trade places with her in a second.”
Rob Kardashian has tried on a few occasions to distance himself from his uber-famous family, but his actions with ex Blac Chyna show that he still has the familial flair for drama.
In 2017, after claiming that Chyna had stepped out on him during their relationship, Kardashian uploaded risqué images of the model to IG, calling them “payback.” Sister Kim later admitted on KUWTK that Rob “should have known better,” while Khloé claimed Chyna had been “taunting him.” They later settled out of court.
While Penelope Disick, the six-year-old daughter of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, could have just been pulling a funny face while out to dinner at a restaurant, it was the fact that father and daughter were at a sushi restaurant that led online commenters to believe that something a little less wholesome was being photographed.
Snapped in January of this year, Disick captioned the image “Best date of 2019,” but IG critics lashed out, saying that Penelope’s eye pulling was an offensive stereotype of Asian culture.
Most readers probably don’t remember this even happening, even though it was only in 2015 – that’s how many Kardashian troubles have piled up since then! During a 2015 visit to Dubai, Khloé posted this selfie of herself wearing a niqab, a traditional garment worn by some Muslim women.
The Internet was quick to lay into Kardashian, saying that it was yet another Kardashian example of cultural appropriation (something the family is notorious for). The backlash was later covered on KUWTK, when Khloé asked employees at Dash what she had done wrong.
Like Kylie’s arguable “self-made” status as a billionaire, many also found that Kendall’s comments on the modeling industry to be coming from a place of privilege and unfair advantage. In a 2018 interview with LOVE Magazine, Kendall said she was “super selective” about what shows she chooses to walk in and that she would never do “like, 30 shows a season” like other models.
The anger was swift, with many models saying that they had to do more shows because they didn’t have the financial stability of Jenner, and decried her “selectivity” as laziness.
Another example of the cultural appropriation that has been attached to the Kardashian name time and time again occurred back in October 2017, when Kim opted to dress up as the late pop star Aaliyah, wearing a very revealing outfit from her famous “Try Again” music video.
Kim took to Twitter to issue an apology, saying she had never meant any offense to anyone because “[we] don’t see color in [my] home” – which put her back in hot water all over again! It’s probably safe to say this won’t be the last offensive Halloween look we see from the family.
In a major drama that has definitely been swept under the rug (probably because it happened all the way back in 2014), Kendall, Kylie, and Kim all seemed a lot more interested in their phones than in observing the moment of silence at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards to honor the late Michael Brown.
Rapper Common asked the audience to take a moment to respect the loss of the young life, but the sisters were busy texting and snapping photos – all of which was caught on camera.
Don’t remember a time when the Kardashians had an actual credit card? They probably prefer it that way! All the way back in 2010, Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé introduced the aptly-named Kardashian Kard, a prepaid credit card in collaboration with Mastercard. Too bad for anyone who bought into the thing – it came with a ton of surprise fees!
The hidden charges were a poor PR and business decision, considering the card targeted teens and young adults who, you know, couldn’t afford to pay them. Less than a month later, the Kard was shut down for good.
The Kardashians have been pretty open about using their fame to secure major deals and sponsorships – in fact, most of their social media is littered with paid partnerships with various brands, from hair vitamins to flat tummy tea to appetite-suppressing lollipops.
But, back in 2015, Kim got into hot water with one particular post that advertised a morning sickness medication. Not only had Kim not even used this specific medicine herself, but she failed to include tags like #ad or #sponsored, which are now mandatory requirements for paid sponsorships.
Blaming a tan for appearing darker in an image is a pretty lazy excuse, but it’s what Kim Kardashian went with when this image was posted to promote KKW Beauty. The promo images featured Kim with a much darker skin tone, but the mogul attempted to brush off the controversy by telling the New York Times, “I would never want to offend anyone. I used an amazing photographer and a team of people. I was really tan…and it may be that the contrast was off.”
Kim had to explain herself after unaltered images were revealed.
Before raking in the big bucks via IG deals and various endorsements, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé were stuck schilling products in your average pharmacy – for real! The diet pill in question was QuickTrim, something the sisters had been involved with since 2010, but by 2012 they were handed a $5 million lawsuit!
The class action suit said that the sisters and QuickTrim had “falsely touted the product’s effectiveness for losing weight,” as reported by Reuters. The case was settled in 2013, and we haven’t heard much about it since!
Kanye West had been a controversial figure before he got together with Kim Kardashian but some argue that his increased time spent in the Kardashian media glare has been triggering his already-fragile mental health.
From cancelling concerts to going on long-winded rants to discussing politics in interviews, West has been all over the place. The rapper was hospitalized for exhaustion in 2016 and it seems that his behavior has had a lasting effect on his relationship – although the fam still try to keep his more OTT behavior under wraps.
She has basically extricated herself from the rest of the family but while she bears the Jenner name, Caitlyn Jenner will always be associated with the famous family. That’s why we can’t ignore something the rest of the clan has tried to sweep under the rug: the 2015 car accident caused by Jenner that ended the life of one woman and left seven other people injured.
Jenner was cleared of charges, but even the sheriff’s department was quoted as saying her driving had been “unsafe for the prevailing road conditions,” as The Independent reports.
Remember when the Kardashian-Jenners tried to explain away Kylie’s suddenly inflated pout as the result of expert makeup application and over-lining her lips? And remember how we all knew they were lying, and that it was an insult to our intelligence to say otherwise?
It seems like a long time ago that the Kardashians tried to take us for fools, but it wasn’t until 2015 that Kylie finally admitted to temporary lip fillers, and by 2016 she became a little more forthcoming about her frequent use of the procedure.
Speaking of Kylie’s lips, we had the #KylieLipChallenge in 2015, too. Teenage girls (and occasionally boys) filmed videos and took photos of themselves sucking on shot glasses in an attempt to get luscious lips. They took to social media to share their results and, more frequently, their injuries.
Bruised lips and split mouths filled up our feeds with the hashtag #KylieLipChallenge, and while Jenner herself later condemned the practice, she was blamed for the craze, since she hadn’t been honest about the results of her own newly full mouth.
While technically the fault of the editors at Vogue, Kendall Jenner was the one who got the short end of the stick when in 2016 she was asked to star in a ballet-themed shoot for the magazine.
Ballerinas ended up turning on Jenner, saying the model and the magazine assumed that anyone could become a ballerina, when in actuality it requires hours or even years of intense training and practice. It was a smaller bout of trouble, but one that no less reflected Jenner’s poor choices when it came to her modeling career.
Tyga and Kylie feel like old news now that she’s had a child with current BF Travis Scott, but once upon a time these two were covering the pages of tabloids with their OTT relationship. One thing that was rarely addressed, though, was the age Kylie was when the two got together.
We all know that Tyga had a child with Blac Cyna, Rob Kardashian’s ex-fiancée and baby mama, but dating rumors about Tyga and Kylie began before Kylie turned 18, when the rapper regularly appeared at family events.
One of the most recent problems to plague the famous family happened just a few weeks ago. After much hype and mystery surrounding an important announcement Kendall would be making – complete with very dramatic social media captions like “Prepare to be moved” – fans everywhere were totally let down when the model simply revealed that she had become a new spokesperson for acne treatment product Proactiv.
While Jenner has been open about her insecurity regarding her skin, the letdown was palpable from people who expected something with more substance.
Kylie Cosmetics has been what has propelled the 21-year-old to billionaire status, but it hasn’t been without its controversy. Most notably, Kylie was said to have stolen ideas from IG makeup artist Vlada Haggerty, copying the iconic dripping lip design as her logo and stealing photo ideas to use on her own feed.
The theft was so obvious that Haggerty called out the mogul on her account in 2015 and had an interview with Refinery 29 to discuss the plagiarism. As of 2017, however, the issue had been resolved – via another paid settlement.
If you’ve been on Netflix or Hulu, you’ve probably witnessed all the drama surrounding the infamous Fyre Festival and the absolute dumpster fire it created for everyone involved. While not hit nearly as badly as those who had financial investments in the festival, Kendall Jenner was also blamed for her role in perpetuating the myth of the exclusive event.
Along with major models like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, Jenner pumped up the festival on her own IG account (for which she was paid), but quietly deleted all traces of it when it was revealed to be a bust.
Unfortunately for Khloé, she has never made good choices when it comes to romance and her most recent relationship with Tristan Thompson is no exception. When news of his behavior with Kardashian BFF Jordyn Woods broke, almost the entire K-clan turned on Woods rather than Thompson, despite the fact that he had stepped out on Khloé in the past – and while she was pregnant with their daughter!
It took a while before Khloé eventually admitted that it was Thompson who had caused the end of their relationship, not Woods, but not before Woods had been forced to publicly apologize.
While we all know what put Kim Kardashian on the map, the tape that made Kardashian a household name wasn’t actually released until almost five years after it had been filmed – right around the time Kris Jenner was looking to see if her show would get picked up.
While Kim apparently tried to stop the release of the tape, she eventually settled out of court for $5 million. Conspiracy theorists guess that Jenner may have been behind the film’s release in the first place, but it’s a rumor that the family has repeatedly tried to sweep under the rug.
Although Kim had been married before, it was her infamous 72-day marriage that caused the biggest controversy among critics of the famous family. Kim and NBA player Kris Humphries wed in August 2011, but on October 31, Kim had filed for divorce.
It was a PR drama that saw members of the family try to quell suspicions that the whole thing had been a publicity stunt for lucrative endorsement deals and a hefty fee for their televised wedding. It wouldn’t be until 2013 – when Kim was already pregnant with her first child with Kanye West – that the divorce would be finalized.
Possibly the biggest screw-up for the Kardashian-Jenners happened back in 2017 when Kendall decided to shill for Pepsi, using a tone-deaf and poorly-timed ad that seemed to equate drinking Pepsi with curing everything wrong in the world.
Pepsi pulled the ad almost immediately, it was spoofed on Saturday Night Live, and Kendall addressed her feelings about the whole ordeal on KUWTK, essentially passing the buck onto the production team by saying she had felt the whole thing to be wrong but hadn’t said anything, owing to the importance of the brand.
Sources: Love magazine, The New York Times, Reuters