Kardashian petition raises key issues about the status of American popular culture

Los Angeles, USA: A Denver area woman has launched a petition drive in an effort to tell E! Entertainment to terminate the Kardashians' TV program. Cyndy Snider has posted a petition to GoPetition asking that E! find "other shows to air."

"Keeping Up with the Kardashians is just not viewing that we the public would like to see from your network," she states. "Enough is enough."

As of Friday morning the petition had more than 143,000 signatures and a Facebook page promoting it had reached more than 50,000 likes.

The petition drive specifically addresses Kim Kardashian, who has faced criticism after her recent 72-day marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries, and asks people to boycott her. It also suggests not buying any products she or the Kardashian Brands sell and not shopping at any retail store that uses her as a spokesperson or carries the products.

"Kim Kardashian has made a mockery of American culture, doing whatever it takes to extend her fifteen minutes of fame so that she can selfishly profit from her celebrity status," the petition states. It adds she "continues to bate the media into giving her more unjustified coverage and allowing her to cash in financially." Below, Kim Kardashian was in Sydney, Australia, to launch a new handbag line on Nov. 1, 2011. (Daily Telegraph / NewsCore)

A statement by Snider posted by the Yahoo! TV blog stated that petition supporters "feel that these shows are mostly staged and place an emphasis on vanity, greed, promiscuity, vulgarity and over-the-top conspicuous consumption." CBS4 Denver reported that Snider, 41, started the petition in early November. She told CBS4 that she is against what the show portrays and does not consider its material appropriate. The CBS4 interview with Snider can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/user/GoPetition

"I'm not aware of anybody in my neighborhood that's going out and leaking their own sex tapes," she said. Snider told CBS4 that being a "Kim hater" has led to death threats against her.

While the show has its haters, the blog ZAP2it.com stated that "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is one of E!'s highest-rated shows. The special "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event" drew 10.5 million viewers. Comment on ZAP2It's blog have been mixed with one person posting, "Boycott these no talent sharks!" Some suggested not stopping there but boycotting shows like "Jersey Shore" as well. Others said don't bother. "I'm sorry but I think this is stupid," one reader wrote. "If you don't want to watch the show don't watch it, if you don't want your kids to watch it, there's a thing called parental control. There are far more ridiculous things on TV …"

The extreme popularity of the anti-Kardashians' petition suggests a deeply divided America at a core cultural level. On the one hand, the pro camp illustrates a fascination with "real life" pulp fiction entertainment, while the anti-Kardashians' camp illustrates a deep backlash against an alleged degenerating, vain, shallow and valueless American popular culture.

John Pope


Sources: thanks to http://www.myfoxny.com/dpps/entertainment/kardashian-boycott-asks-to-cancel-show-dpgoha-20111117-fc_15993955