Jeremy Renner of “The Bourne Legacy” latest leading man to blast Kardashian empire
By RICHARD ROEPER August 14, 2012 9:18PM
Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian pose on the red carpet for the wrap party for their reality show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." | AP
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:17AM
First Daniel Craig, then Jon Hamm, then Jason Statham, now Jeremy Renner.
We have a trend: smoldering, 40ish leading men ripping on the Kardashians.
The “Bourne”-again star Renner is the most recent to tear into the ubiquitous fame-whoring family, telling the Guardian, “Oh, all those ridiculous people with zero talent who spend their lives making sure everyone knows their name. Those stupid, stupid people.”
Last November, Craig said of the Kardashians, “You see [them] and you think, ‘What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a [bleeping] idiot on television and then you’ll pay me millions?’ ”
Last March, “Mad Men” star Hamm said, “Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly being celebrated ... being a f------ idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly.”
A couple of weeks later, Statham was quoted in Detail magazine as saying, “F--- ’em. Kim Kardashian’s a brand.”
First, I’m pretty sure Ms. Kardashian would take that last observation as a compliment. She IS a brand. That’s pretty much her entire reason for being.
As for the Kardashians being “stupid,” well ... sure, it’s difficult to argue against that. They’d be spectacularly unsuccessful (but wildly entertaining) competing on a celebrity version of “Jeopardy,” or even a celebrity edition of “Family Feud.”
Shameless? Absolutely. The Kardashians were launched to prominence by “that” sex tape of Kim with rapper Ray-J. Since then, they have pounced on every moneymaking opportunity in sight like crazed linebackers going after a loose ball in the Orange Bowl. They have multiple “reality” shows, bestselling books, perfumes, fashion lines and endorsement deals.
If you want Kim Kardashian to show up at your event, it’ll cost you anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million. If you want Kim to simply tweet about something, it can cost $25,000.
We’ve already established what they are. Now they’re just haggling over the price.
The Kardashian empire rakes in a reported $65 million a year. That’s a whole lot of stupid money right there.
When these actors roll their eyes and look down from their superior pop culture ledges at those “stupid” Kardashians, there’s a risk of sounding smug — and a risk of insulting the millions of people that watch the special Ks on TV and consume their products. If you think the Kardashians are morons, what do you think of all those people who consider themselves big fans?
Here’s the news. Eat your vegetables.
Consider “The Newsroom,” Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant, insightful and more than occasionally self-righteous series on HBO. Here’s an exchange between Jeff Daniels’ news anchor Will McAvoy and his date Monica, who has said she’s a big fan of the “Real Housewives” types of shows.
WILL: “I’m not concerned about [the star of the reality show]. She signed up for this. I’m concerned about the rest of us, who are being turned into a bunch of old ladies with hair dryers on our heads, gorging ourselves, on the staged — God, it’s just so plainly bad, Monica.”
MONICA: “It’s called a guilty pleasure.”
WILL: “The chocolate souffle on this menu is a guilty pleasure. The Archies singing ‘Sugar Sugar’ is a guilty pleasure. Human cockfighting makes us mean and desensitizes us ...”
A moment later Will is wearing Monica’s drink on his face and she is storming out of the restaurant. He might have been right, but he sure went about it in the wrong way.
I’m reminded of an exchange from another smart look at the business from another era: “Broadcast News.” There’s a scene where Holly Hunter’s producer is told
by her boss, “It must be nice to always believe you know better — to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.”
To which Hunter replies, “No. It’s awful.”
Maybe so. And it’s sometimes better to keep those smart thoughts to yourself.