Workers’ rights organization China Labor Watch has just published a damning investigative report into a pair of factories in China, where working conditions apparently resembled an Upton Sinclair/Triangle Shirtwaist nightmare vision of proletariat misery. The report alleges that clothing designer Bebe had products manufactured in the sweatshops… including a line of clothing, handbags, and jewelry that were part of the “K-Dash by Kardashian” brand. If these allegations are true, then the Kardashians would enter the rarified class of businesspeople who have happily availed themselves of the curiously unsympathetic labor ethics endemic to our beloved People’s Republic. (To be fair, I also just described Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and every single major entrepreneur of the modern age, besides maybe the toolbox who runs American Apparel. This is a horrible world.)
Now, before you hop on the anti-Kardashian train (toot-toooooot!) it’s worth pointing out that even if the report is accurate, it’s not like Kris Jenner was walking through the factory with a bullwhip screaming Mandarin obscenities at pregnant laborers, while Kourtney and Khloé played gigantic Taiko drums to maintain the rhythm of the assembly line and Kim stared blankly into space babbling something about her career. The products were manufactured by a third party, and a rep for Kim Kardashian told EW that the Kardashian family members “take this situation very seriously and have been assured by all of their manufacturers that the factories are policed regularly and there is no truth to these allegations.”
However, the rep also notes that the Kardashian Klan is “continuing to investigate the matter, and if there is any evidence of an illegal operation, then they will cease work with that manufacturer immediately.” In short, Communism is terrible, Capitalism is worse, and the laborers’ only tiny fragile hope is that Christian Bale might visit their cruel factory long enough for a shove-around photo-op. Merry Christmas, everyone!
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