Keeping Up With the Kardashians has generated a lot of ire over the years. But no matter how you feel about the E! series, its subjects, the Kardashian family, still deserve respect and basic human decency. Most audience members might just know Scott Disick as the family's honorary son-in-law (even if he and Kourtney aren't exactly married). However, the last several months have dished out a steady dose of tragedy to the reality star. Disick had to leave his and Kourtney's California home and return to his native New York to bury both of his parents only a scant few months apart. In October 2013, Disick's 63-year-old mother Bonnie passed away. And while the loss of a mother is tragic enough, Disick's sad circumstances continued. Soon after, Disick's father Jeffrey, also 63, died.
Disick's mother had appeared on the KUWTK spinoff Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami, and he had referenced his father's illness during KUWTK prior to his passing, when Disick went to visit a cancer-stricken fan in an episode of the show. He didn't go into details regarding what the illness was, but the emotion on his face was unmistakable. While Disick might not be everyone's favorite member of the Kardashian family, it's impossible to even imagine what it is like to lose both parents by the age of 31— especially as an only child.
That's the great struggle of reality television. It is easy to sit back and dehumanize its participants and forget that they are actual human beings, not actors. Once the cameras stop rolling, reality subjects' narratives keep going, and they actually have to deal with the reality of their situation, whatever it may be. Even the much derided Kardashian girls themselves have gotten appallingly little sympathy or tenderness for the fact that they, too, have lost a father at an even younger age. Kim was only 23 when their father, lawyer Robert Kardashian Sr., passed away.
Let's hope that KUWTK handles Disick's tragedy with sympathy and lets him retain some shred of privacy while he works through the loss of his parents.