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Kim Kardashian Chided For Using Pardoned Prisoner Alice Johnson In Shapewear Ad
By Mikelle Leow, 08 Sep 2019
Video screenshot via Kim Kardashian
You might recall that Kim Kardashian previously came under fire for calling her new shapewear brand, ‘Kimono’. Even after a name change, though, the label is still on the brunt of controversy.
This time, the reality star has been called out for asking Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who was serving a life sentence in prison over a first-time, non-violent drug offense, to promote her garments. Last year, Kardashian met up with US president Donald Trump to advocate a pardon for Johnson, and the woman was finally freed after over two decades on 6 June 2018.
Johnson recently appeared on an advert for SKIMS, Kardashian’s freshly-named shapewear label. Dressed in a black bodysuit, Johnson described how the garment has empowered her.
“I was serving a 25-year sentence without the possibility of parole,” Johnson can be heard saying in the video. “Kim saw a video of me… She said, ‘This is so unfair.’ And by the way, I didn’t even know who Kim Kardashian was.”
“She went to war for me to fight for my freedom,” Johnson added. “That’s why I call her my ‘war angel,’ because nothing stood between her and my freedom… This shapewear makes me feel that I can walk into the store… pick up something that I normally wouldn’t think about wearing and… put it on, and it’s going to look great on me. This shapewear makes me feel free!”
Kardashian and Johnson have kept in close touch since her release, and the socialite even wrote the foreword of Johnson’s memoir, After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom.
Some of Kardashian’s followers are thus livid that the reality star has likened Johnson’s freedom from prison to the feeling of being in a figure-hugging bodysuit.
“It’s kinda corny to compare her freedom from unjust incarceration to buying your shapewear,” one Instagram user writes. “25 to life, you’ll feel just as free,” she mocks.
“This is the fakest thing I’ve ever watched,” one user remarks. “Oh okay, get a woman out of prison [and] then use her to sell [your] product,” another points out.
On the other end of the spectrum, fans have defended Kardashian, and don’t believe the ad is exploitative.
“Kim helped [to free] Alice and now she’s helping her have a better life,” justifies one Instagram user. “Alice is benefiting from this as it’s making her good money.”
“If anything, she’s giving [Johnson] an opportunity to be visible and share her story,” a like-minded fan explains.
[via Showbiz Cheatsheet, video and cover image via Kim Kardashian]
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