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Kim Kardashian Criticized for Paying to Get North West Into Broadway

Pop Culture

Mon, June 03

The Kardashians have been no stranger to controversy. Since their rise to fame in the early 2000s, they have constantly been the talk of the town. Now, this drama is introducing itself to the next generation as Kim Kardashian faces criticism for North West's performance in the Hollywood Bowl on May 24-25, 2024, as young Simba in a live-to-film concert event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Lion King. West took the stage as a special guest and was welcomed by Jason Weaver, the original voice of young Simba in the movie.

She sang "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" while donning a yellow furry hooded sweatshirt with matching shorts, socks, and furry slippers, all owned by her. The costume was put together by Eli Russell Linnetz, who channeled the label's streetwear into the young Simba costume. Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian Barker, Travis Barker, Kris Jenner, and even Kanye West proudly sat in the crowd.

The Skims founder shared behind-the-scenes videos of her daughter backstage on social media. According to Mirror, North West received a standing ovation for the performance and garnered millions of views over TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and X (Formally known as Twitter).

Kim Kardashian with North West backstage after her performance on « the lion king » I just know Kim cried 🥹❤️ pic.twitter.com/WnYcwleZzN

— leandre koffi (@leandek15) May 25, 2024

The performance sparked criticism all over social media when it came out that North's family had a massive involvement in getting her the role. This incident is an ode to nepotism (aka nepo) babies in Hollywood receiving roles due to their family & friends. Reports say that due to the Kardashian's connection to Disney and Kim paying money to the casting director, North only needed to be able to carry a tune, and she could get the part.

A reddit user gave their thoughts on the matter by saying, "It is not charming or okay in anyway. This speaks to a bigger societal issue. Children who are taught they can buy everything, including undeserved opportunities become greedy adults who buy everything and hoard wealth. This isn’t cute. This is a front and center example of the United States failures. Stealing opportunities from hardworking and talented kids is not okay bc someone is rich, and being ten years old isn’t an excuse. While this isn’t North’s fault, this entire stunt should be criticized bc this is beyond wrong. This is why we have a culture of nepotism and classism."

I’m sorry but casting North West as Simba when there are hundreds of properly trained theatre kids with voice coaches, dance skills, and experience was a HORRIBLE choice. It definitely makes you question the credibility of the casting director. You let Kim pay to ruin your show.

— 🤭 (@\_RichieDinero) May 26, 2024

Disney should be embarrassed they cast North West as Young Simba for Lion King’s 30th anniversary concert at the Hollywood Bowl. There are dozens of talented kids who are currently playing the roles of Young Simba & Nala all over the world let alone the other kids who auditioned

— TPMvids (@TPMvideos) May 27, 2024

Now I love me some North West but there must have been a handful of truly talented 10-11 year olds hat would have been a better Simba because they spent year working on their craft #TheLionKing

— Tracey Vanderpump (@traceypump) May 27, 2024

I won’t comment on the performance of North West at the Lion King live show, because she’s 10. But, what the [censored] is she wearing? Who thought, hey, she needs to look like Simba, pull out the yellow barrister wig? I’ve seen Walmart onesies that look better. pic.twitter.com/becs3mHyuD

— crimsonrambler (@crimsonrambler) May 27, 2024

my main complaint about this north west/lion king situation is that she’s up on that stage in what is very clearly a yeezy fit instead of an actual simba costume. like her costume literally just SCREAMS kanye (and not in a good way)

— 𝔰𝔠𝔬𝔯𝔭𝔦𝔬 𝔰𝔭𝔦𝔠𝔢 ✨ (@bookfaeriex\_) May 28, 2024

My only question about North West being cast as Simba is why didn’t she have a better costume?She’s supposed to be a lion…be a lion…not a kid dressed as a lion on HalloweenIt’s not her fault but idk why they let her go on stage like thatIt looked like DIY

— princess jaleeza ✨ (@iamjaleezalove) May 27, 2024

Some theater parents have been posting on TikTok, sharing their experiences of how their kid was turned down for the role because of North West. Even people on Reddit have commented on this situation with one user stating, "It was painful. She can’t sing, she clearly doesn’t know where to go (at one point one of the extras is telling her where to go), and the guy in the orchestra looks miserable. This family has never been told “no” and it’s sad." Another user agreed by saying, "People who attended the show should ask for a refund. They paid to see Broadway professionals, not someone who can't even hold a note."

It has come to my attention that performance of North West was not a school play, but rather LA’s broadway performance of the Lion King at the Hollywood Bowl where theatre kids who practice tirelessly competed for a spot that went to North bc Kim came in and paid for it. 🙄

— manda. (@manda\_doe) May 28, 2024

Some people have been defending North by giving the excuse that she's just a kid and not a performer so she shouldn't be teared down for her work. They are even going as far as to agree with Kim's action stating they would do the same thing for their child if given the opportunity. One reddit user said, "Yes ! Kim is doing what any supportive parent would do, with or without nepotism involved: being supportive! Kim is taking advantage of the privilege and I would too! Lol 😭 And anyone who wants to act like they wouldn't do the same for their child is lying through their teeth."

An open letter to all the people [censored] talking North West and her lion king performance - WTF have your snotty nosed brats done? Enjoy your macaroni necklace and illegible finger paintings

— Rudy-Lee Taurua - funny guy (@RudyleeTaurua) May 30, 2024

Ppl need to leave this poor child alone!!!!!! Ppl saying she was “terrible” like [censored] off!!! Production chose her end of story. The notes r hard for non-broadway regulars and shes like 10 yrs old.go get em’ Northy🥹🤍 https://t.co/qg6zzUX1dq

— Tsunade ♡ (@tsunade\_22) May 27, 2024

it’s soooo crazy watching grown [censored] people dunk on north west over a performance they would not have known or cared about if other grown [censored] adults weren’t dunking on north west for being in it

— sympathy afro (@varcmus) May 28, 2024

If you see posts from Media about NortWest's Lion King performance, PLEASE don't tear her apart. People are dumb and they think she's not going to see this Of course she is She did a good job, but she's 10 She's not a performer and they are shredding her. It's horrible.

— Catherine 1977🏰🎡🎠🛼🧜🏻‍♀️🧚🏻‍♀️ (@KathleenC1977) May 28, 2024

Critics have stated that Kim Kardashian tried to get North the role because it was announced that Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy is set to join her mother in the prequel to the 2019 hit, 'Mufasa: The Lion King.' Even though reactions to this role recently started trickling in, Deadline announced that North would be one of the "latest daughter of a major music artist" to join the lion, despite Blue Ivy taking that role first. Others have conspired that Kim Kardashian is "setting her daughter up" by putting her on stage without letting her go to any rehersals or actually prepare for the role.

A lot of people have stated that the family is using the backlash from North's broadway performance to feature it on the next season of their Hulu show "The Kardashians." One reddit user cemented that view by saying, "PMK and crew knew this would garner hate which equals clicks for them. They don’t care than north is being criticized online. They hoped it would happen this way… perfect timing for this season of their flop show."

The Broadway performance is set to premiere on Disney+ soon and the 'Mufasa: The Lion King' will play in theaters on December 20.

Williana Serve
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Williana is currently a sophomore in college. She likes to learn new things especially involving Law & Advocacy. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she can be found watching TikTok, YouTube, or reading.