Is Kim Kardashian Kanye West's Olivia Pope?
Kim Kardashian West is a mogul, a TV star, a household name, a wife, and a mother — but what might keep her busiest is a role that she might be playing behind-the-scenes. Almost every time her husband, Kanye West, releases new music, goes on a Twitter rant, or has a run-in with the paparazzi, Kardashian West seems to be right there to put the right spin in play. She steps in when others start criticizing Kanye, whether it's explaining an incident with a fan in a wheelchair on Instagram or sitting down with Ellen to talk about his unexpected announcement that he's running for president in 2020. It's almost as if Kardashian West is her hip-hop husband's real-life Olivia Pope.
Let's look at the facts: The mega celebrity has certainly had practice dealing with media spin. The press has not always been kind to Kardashian West either. She's often forced to defend herself against those who mock her weight, question her celebrity, and downplay her business savvy. But, after nearly nine years of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she seems to have developed a tough skin and a real skill for spinning bad PR into something good. And she doesn't only play spin doctor for herself; Kardashian West seems to effortlessly do this for her husband too. Back in 2013, Kanye said he was a "terrible, terrible celebrity," noting he was someone who just didn't follow the rules. Kardashian West though, seems to understand the give and take of being a celebrity and knows that you can break the rules, but you have to keep the public on your side. Kanye says what he wants, but Kardashian West has become a Kanye spin doctor, putting his outbursts into context for the rest of us.
In February 2016, she tweeted her response to his #TrollingStone cover, in which a scruffy Kanye appeared alongside the question "Does He Like Mustard?," to let everyone know he's was joking — while making it clear that his idea is actually a good idea for a cover. Earlier that same month, shared his tweets featuring polls where fans could vote on what his album title should be to let us all know Kanye is seriously asking for our opinion, not just playing with us. In March 2013, Kardashian West defended Kanye against the paparazzi after the rapper was sued for physically assaulting a photographer who tried to take pictures of them walking into a Beverly Hills restaurant, according to TMZ. She pointed out that they have been aggressive, putting her and now her children in danger, and, per TMZ, the case was later settled in part by an apology from Kanye. In these ways, Kardashian West allows us to try to understand where he's coming from rather than just writing him off for his public discourse.
That's exactly what she did on Friday, February 26, when Kardashian West took to her app and website to break her silence on Kanye's recent rash of Twitter rants, which saw him doing everything from calling Taylor Swift a fraud to declaring himself in $53 million worth of debt. In the "Currently" post, Kardashian West declared that she is "hating that people don’t get that Kanye [and she] will stand up against the whole world for his creativity and art," adding that "Everyone should be as honest as Kanye."
After Kanye slut-shamed Amber Rose in his Twitter feud with Wiz Khalifa in February 2016, it was Kardashian West who first squashed the beef, tweeting a selfie with Rose, asking, "Tea anyone?" These two women had a rocky relationship before those tweets, but this photo seemed to say that was all in the past. More importantly, this one tweet sent to Kardashian West's 40.5 million followers seemed to negate all that Kanye had said, and forced the world to move on to some new topic of discussion.
It's impossible to truly know if Kardashian West is Kanye's Olivia Pope without knowing Kardashian West and Kanye personally. We can speculate all day long about why they do the things that they do, and whether these moments are evidence that Kardashian West is protecting Kanye's brand or simply the natural result of a supportive wife who knows Kanye better than we do. Hell, for all we know, those two things might not be mutually exclusive. All we can really say for sure is that Kardashian West and Kanye appear to work well together as a couple at least from the public perspective. She has not publically appeared to stop Kanye from being himself or saying what he wants to say, but she has shown that she is perhaps a little better at the spin game. Olivia Pope would be proud.