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Kim Kardashian‘s former unpaid intern spoke out on Wednesday after the reality star set off a social media firestorm with her brusque comments about women’s work ethic.
Celene Zavala, a programming director at CNN+ who worked as an unpaid intern assistant to Kardashian, retweeted Kardashian’s advice for women to ‘get your f***ing a** up and work,’ which appeared in an interview with Variety.
‘I worked my little college a** off for free for Kimberly,’ she wrote in response to the 41-year-old billionaire.
Speaking up: Celene Zavala, a former unpaid intern to Kim Kardashian, called out the 41-year-old billionaire Wednesday on Twitter over her controversial comments that women should ‘get your f***ing a** up and work’
Work ethic: ‘I worked my little college a** off for free for Kimberly,’ she wrote in response to Kim’s comments to Variety, in which she also claimed that ‘nobody wants to work these days’
Zavala added, ‘So I better get some addendum in her saying “except Celene, she was amazing.”
The journalist, who didn’t get back to DailyMail.com’s request for comment, also retweeted a post from writer and critic Jessica DeFino, who tweeted about how she could barely fill her car with gas to get to work while working on the Kardashians app in 2015, before she was ‘reprimanded for freelancing on the side’ to make ends meet.
She reposted the same tweet to her Instagram stories and captioned it IYKYK [if you know, you know] in solidarity.
Zavala, who previously wrote for DailyMail.com, wrote on LinkedIn that she worked as an ‘Intern Assistant to Kim Kardashian West’ for five months, from August to December of 2015.
Credit due: Zavala added, ‘So I better get some addendum in her saying “except Celene, she was amazing.”‘ She also retweeted a writer to complained of conditions while working on Kardahsian’s app in 2015
The Kardashian–Jenner clan have come under fire going back to 2017 for their habit of hiring unpaid interns despite their extraordinary wealth.
The roles were intended for college students and required interns to be currently enrolled, but job listing indicated little in the way of educational opportunities.
Among the tasks required in the listings were ‘grocery shopping,’ ‘helping with dog,’ and other small errands.
Kardashian set off the latest round of interest in her wealth and privilege when she made comments urging women to ‘get your f***ing a** up and work’ in her family’s Variety profile, which was published Wednesday.
Across Twitter, users called out the reality star and billionaire for her comments about how ‘nobody’ is willing to work anymore.
Many people lambasted Kim for her what several called ‘tone deaf’ advice on what it takes to succeed, among them the journalist Soledad O’Brien, who tweeted, ‘Also: be born rich. Really helps.’
Unleashing their rage: Kim Kardashian set the internet aflame on Wednesday after social media users were up in arms over comments she made urging women to ‘get your f***ing a** up and work’ in her family’s Variety profile
Kim aroused reader’s anger after she offered advice for other women hoping to succeed in business.
‘I have the best advice for women in business. Get your f***ing a** up and work,’ she said defiantly.
The reality star added, ‘It seems like nobody wants to work these days.’
On Twitter, one user named Jessica DeFino suggested Kim’s message didn’t line up with her family’s actions.
‘I was an editor on the Kardashian apps in 2015 in LA, worked days night & weekends, could only afford groceries from the 99 Cents Only Store, called out “sick” more than once bc I couldn’t put gas in my car to get to the office,’ she claimed.
She said that she was ‘reprimanded for freelancing on the side’ and added an ironic heart emoji, though she didn’t specify if it was a representatives of the Kardashians or a third-party who reprimanded her.
Speaking out: On Twitter, one user named Jessica DeFino suggested Kim’s message didn’t line up with her family’s actions, as she claimed she wasn’t paid enough to get by while working on their app in 2015
Close contact: One person claimed to have worked on Kim’s app years ago, where she said she was barely paid enough for gas to work and was ‘reprimanded for freelancing on the side’ to make ends meet
Kim’s comments that ‘nobody wants to work these days’ echoed widely criticized pronouncements from various cultural commentators noting that many low-paying businesses have had trouble attracting workers in recent months.
However, others have claimed that pattern is related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as nearly one millions Americans have been killed by the illness so far, leaving many of their jobs unattended, while others are unwilling to work in service jobs for low pay while being put at heightened risk of contracting the virus.
Among Kim’s defenders was her publicist Tracy Romulus, who shared a clip from Kim’s interview on Wednesday and wrote that Kim was ‘right.’
‘It takes blood, sweat and tears to start and build a successful business — and in her case, businesses. It also takes building teams and empowering great, harding working people and being smart and humble enough to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more talented than you [sic],’ she wrote.
‘So when the girls were asked, “What does it take and what advice would you give other women who aspire to build the next billion dollar company?” — Kim answered with what she knows—GET OFF YOUR F—ING A** AND WORK. And it’s true. That’s what it takes.’
She added that ‘any entrepreneur’ or ‘successful woman in business’ would argue that women have to worked ‘so much smarter and harder than any man’ to succeed, and mistakes are also an essential part of the journey.
‘As someone who immigrated to this country with nothing and grew up in poverty, who has held more than a dozen minimum wage paying jobs well into her twenties and lived paycheck to paycheck for more than half of her life — I was not offended by this comment because its what I had to do — and you shouldn’t be either,’ Tracy continued.’
Playing defense: Kim’s publicist Tracy Romulus was one of the people who rushed to her defense. She said she wasn’t offended by Kim’s comments, even as an immigrant who ‘grew up in poverty’
She didn’t appear to take much stock in the idea that people born without Kim’s wealth and opportunities might not have access to the same opportunities as her.
‘Regardless of wealth, circumstances or opportunities that you are given or not given, any successful person living in the United States or a free country where there is opportunity — success is a mindset and can be achieved,’ she continued. ‘Set your goals and don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big or can’t be accomplished simply by working your f—ing a** off.’
Some Twitter users suggested the idea that people weren’t working was a talking point not based in reality.
‘Who’s not working?’ wondered on person. ‘I personally don’t know anyone, male or female, that isn’t working or has been without a job.’
They added a zinger aimed at Rob Kardashian, who has rarely been seen on Keeping Up With The Kardashians or in public in years.
‘Maybe she is referring to her brother?’ they joked.
Getting personal: Some Twitter users suggested the idea that people weren’t working was a talking point not based in reality
Zinger: The user included a jab at Kim’s reclusive brother Rob Kardashian, who has rarely been seen on KUWTK or in public in recent years. ‘Maybe she is referring to her brother,’ they joked
Not interested: Jameela Jamil wrote on Twitter that ‘nobody needs to hear your thoughts on success/work ethic’ if you had well-off parents like Kim’s
‘Chill out’: She called the family ‘super impressive’ on Instagram but said they shouldn’t talk about their ‘secret to success’ if they were ‘raised by millionaires’
Jameela Jamil wrote on Twitter: ‘I think if you grew up in Beverly Hills with super successful parents in what was simply a smaller mansion… nobody needs to hear your thoughts on success/work ethic. This same 24 hours in the day s*** is a nightmare. 99.9% of the world grew up with a VERY different 24 hours.’
She reposted her comment to Instagram and added in her caption and bemoaned that Kim’s words were published the day after International Women’s Day.
She called the Kardashian–Jenners ‘super impressive,’ but said part of their success was due to ‘photoshop and a decision to not care about misleading people about their beauty claims whilst never disclosing how much secret work goes into their appearances… that they make most of their money from.’
She also called out the family for advertising ‘questionable diet/detox products and corsets.’
‘They shouldn’t be asked about their secret to success,’ she continued. ‘They shouldn’t answer those questions. It’s obvious to everyone, and I hope nobody holds themselves to the standards of people who were raised by millionaires.
‘Just take the money, use it for good and chill the f*** out when lecturing others about grind and hustle,’ she added. ‘And learn how to brag without putting others down who have less.’
Kim seemed to anticipate comments form people who think she hasn’t earned her fortune.
‘Who gives a f***,’ she said dismissively. ‘We focus on the positive. We work our a**es off. If that’s what you think, then sorry. We just don’t have the energy for that. We don’t have to sing or dance or act; we get to live our lives — and hey, we made it. I don’t know what to tell you.’
Dismissive: Kim seemed to anticipate comments form people who think she hasn’t earned her fortune. ‘Who gives a f***,’ she said. ‘We focus on the positive. We work our a**es off. If that’s what you think, then sorry’
She claimed her statements were just ‘factual,’ and added, ‘With all respect, and with love, I’m not, like, being a b****.’
Others made more mocking comments about Kim, along with sister Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian and her mother Kris, who all appeared in the accompanying photoshoot.
“‘It seems like nobody wants to work these days,'” one user quoted her, before adding, ‘Including the stylist who greenlit that Balenciaga mess the other day.’
One Twitter user joked, ‘I wish I was born rich so I could be self-made.’
Another person suggested Kim’s comments were an example of ‘richsplaining,’ which is when a wealthy who never experienced poverty tells other people who to get out of poverty.
One user complained that Kim had already had a leg up because she started out ‘having a wealthy, brilliant lawyer father with thousands of contacts in one of the richest areas of the whole US.’
Jabs: Others made more mocking comments about Kim, along with sister Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian and her mother Kris, who all appeared in the accompanying photoshoot
Having a laugh: One Twitter user joked, ‘I wish I was born rich so I could be self-made.’
Not an expert: Another person suggested Kim’s comments were an example of ‘richsplaining,’ which is when a wealthy who never experienced poverty tells other people who to get out of poverty
A leg up: One person suggested Kim was on easy street after being born to a ‘wealthy’ lawyer father in ‘one of the richest areas of the whole US’
Others lit into her for ‘presuming’ to know more than people living with fewer means or privileges.
‘Yes, she runs businesses, the problem is a person who came from wealth punching down and presuming to know what other people are going through,’ write one poster.
Some readers of the profile just mocked Kim and her sisters for possible cosmetic procedures.
‘Let us all remember the time before the Kardashian family knew about plastic surgery,’ wrote one person who included a photo of Kim with her family when she was just a teenager.
Uninformed: Others lit into her for ‘presuming’ to know more than people living with fewer means or privileges
Getting personal: Some readers of the profile just mocked Kim and her sisters for possible cosmetic procedures
Although many social media users didn’t take kindly to Kim’s comments, the profile suggested that her mother Kris has plenty of drive.
An opening anecdote showed her texting at 5:51 a.m. to set up an interview, after she claimed to have been awake well before then.
‘I was up at 4 so I could have my coffee and get dressed,’ she said over the phone.
Kris noted that she was ‘filming all day’ at her second Palm Springs home with her boyfriend Corey Gamble and daughter Khloé.
She delved into some of the details about her family’s upcoming Hulu reality series The Kardashians. The new show is expected to have more of a documentary feel than KUWTK, with fewer of the reality show elements that turn off some viewers.
She said it will also look more opulent than the original.
The show, which has been picked up for two seasons of 40 episodes total, will feature Kourtney’s fiancé Travis Barker, as well as Kim Kardashian’s ex Kanye West, but it won’t include her boyfriend Pete Davidson — at least for now.
She joked that when the original series began filming, she envisioned it as focusing extensively on the two clothing stores she and her daughters owned.
‘It kind of started out like, “Oh, my goodness, we’re going to sell a lot of baby clothes!”‘ she recalled.
Early rise: Despite the attacks on Kim about her work ethic, her mother Kris Jenner reportedly gets up in the early morning hours each day to work on her family’s business empire
The Kardashian–Jenner clan will reportedly be earning somewhere in the nine figures for their new Hulu series, which is on a small chunk of their fortunes, but essential for ‘branding.’
‘We are all equals,’ Khloé said, adding that everyone will be getting paid the same amount for this show.
‘It definitely played a factor because we give so much of our personal lives up for entertainment,’ she said of their contract. ‘We always have our private family conversations, and we’re pretty brutal, me and my sisters, with what we will settle for or not settle for. But not all money is good money. It has to be a good fit, and Hulu was just the perfect fit for us.’
She said her mother Kris ‘fights like a pit bull,’ and it’s her alone who enters negotiations.
The profile described Kim multitasking while jetting across the world, noting that she studied law while on a 12-hour private jet ride back to Los Angeles from Milan, Italy.
MIA: She mentioned that her boyfriend Pete Davidson hadn’t filmed for The Kardashians, but she was up for it if he changed his mind. ‘It’s just not what he does’
She mentioned that her boyfriend Pete Davidson hadn’t filmed for The Kardashians, but she was up for it if he changed his mind.
‘It’s just not what he does,’ she said.
‘But if there was an event happening and he was there, he wouldn’t tell the cameras to get away. I think I might film something really exciting coming, but it wouldn’t be for this season,’ she teased before mentioning that the series will address questions about the start of their relationship and how they met.
Her estranged husband Kanye West also filmed for the series prior to his most recent feuds with her and Pete, and he’ll be prominently featured in the first episode.
Variety also reported that Kim’s stepparent Caitlyn Jenner will not be featured on The Kardashians, and her brother Rob isn’t part of the main cast, though he might still make brief appearances.
Back on TV: Kim’s ex Kanye West filmed for The Kardashians prior to his latest feud with her and Pete, and he’ll be prominently featured in the first episode; seen together in 2020