When it comes to public figures criticizing a clueless public, Kim Kardashian West should have known better.
On Halloween, the Kardashain/Jenner family gathered to celebrate Kendall Jenner’s 23rd birthday on Wednesday night.
West, 37, arrived with her beau Jonathan Cheban. He was dressed as Tommy Lee and she was Pamela Anderson, recreating the red carpet look from the MTV Video Music Awards from 1999 – nearly twenty years ago when most of the party guests were too young to remember Baywatch.
But when the other largely-millennial partygoers had a difficult time identifying her costume as the actress, the fuse was lit and West had some choice words during the clip that was posted on Instagram stories.
“Okay guys, we are Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee,” she said.
“Nobody knows who we are here! You guys are all too f—ing young. This is so sad.”
Later, West’s friend and former assistant Stephanie Shepherd inquired about her costume, to which an exasperated West responded.
“Nobody knows who I am. Yeah! Retarded.”
@KimKardashian So people that don’t know who you are for Halloween are retarded really!! Smh maybe you should spend time with people with disabilities that way you can show more empathy towards those that are special needs
— Leslie (@iam_leslie86) November 1, 2018
The video with West dropping the word was reposted on a fan account.
The term is a relic referring to the less advanced social, mental, and emotional devlopment of an individual that is considered to be hate speech by today’s standards.
It is exclusionary and very offensive.
As a special education teacher this word is the most disrespectful word. People are people so please don’t use this word?
— Encinitas99 Ⓥ (@99encinitas) November 1, 2018
Many saw West’s comment as being insensitive to people with disabilities.
Others also said West was out of line just because peolpe could not pinpoint which celebrity she was portraying.
Well, she looks nothing like Pamela Anderson for one.
— Analtha Moroffko (@analtha) November 1, 2018
I think it was stupid of her to dress up as Pam Anderson. Today’s young people don’t know that has-been. Of all of the cool couples costumes, that’s what you pick? ??
— APR (@AngelaMara922) November 1, 2018
Didn't even know dressing up as Pamela is a genuine Halloween costume. She really is a nit wit !!
— Sam Morton (@mortos1982) November 1, 2018
People thought the reality star and socialite should have known better.
I hate it when anybody uses that word.
— debrajean (@debrajeanmarie) November 1, 2018
As a parent of a developmentally delayed young adult, I have to say it does hurt. I cringe a little when I read it, especially from someone who should know better. I would love for her to donate her millions to https://t.co/lfr3DInpCK ,Special Olympics, or local school system.
— Jill McGiboney (@JillMcGiboney) November 1, 2018
After the fallout from the use of the word, West came forward and issued an apology on Thursday morning. “I want to apologize for what I said in a recent video post that is inappropriate and insensitive to the special needs community,” she told The Blast.
“I try to learn from my mistakes and this is one of those times.”
UPDATE: @KimKardashian tells The Blast, “I want to apologize for what I said in a recent video post that is inappropriate and insensitive to the special needs community. I try to learn from my mistakes and this is one of those times."
— The Blast (@TheBlastNews) November 1, 2018
“Please know that my intention is always pure, and in this case, it was a mistake. I’m sorry.”