The Real Reason Kim Kardashian's Robbery Is Causing Backlash

It's not everyday that a celebrity gets held up at gunpoint and robbed, so when it does happen, you'd think the response would be worry, fear, and certainly sympathy. Yet when Kim Kardashian was bound, gagged, and threatened with a gun in Paris on Oct. 3, 2016, the immediate reaction wasn't what you'd expect. There were memes, jokes, and outright cruelty. Just what's behind the overwhelming backlash to Kardashian's drama?

Kim is overexposed

Kardashian topped Forbes' list of most overexposed celebrities way back in 2012, and that exposure has only grown since. Never mind that she's essentially famous for being famous, anything she does is paparazzi gold, and images of her, with or without her clothes, are plastered all over the internet. That kind of saturation often plays out in one of two ways: either the public embraces the celeb as a beloved icon whose fame endures throughout the ages, or the star becomes a major source of contempt, inviting hate and humor under even the most tragic circumstances. Kardashian is falling prey to the latter.

The Kardashian who cried wolf?

Among the most baffling reactions in the aftermath of the Paris robbery were the accusations that the Kardashians were lying about the crime to garner attention. The idea that a family of stars would hire several people to stage a fake robbery seems a bit much, especially when you remember the event led to a police investigation. Are we to believe Paris law enforcement is united with the Kardashians in an attention-grabbing publicity stunt?

The robbery is now a major international news story, meaning law enforcement agents are doing a lot of digging, and if statements and evidence don't add up, we won't just be hearing about it on conspiracy theory forums. We'll soon see an increase in news reports about authorities questioning the Kardashians' claims (a la Ryan Lochte in Rio.)

Police reportedly suspect a group known as the "Pink Panther Gang" may be involved. Allegedly, this band of international criminals is known for robberies similar to what Kardashian experienced. The Mirror writes, "The [Pink Panther Gang] have famously stolen [nearly $357 million] worth of jewels in high-profile heists ever since 1984." If police are zeroing in on actual criminals rather than reality TV stars, it's because there is enough early evidence to indicate a crime really did happen.

The Kardashians unwittingly fanned the flames

In the end, it probably doesn't matter if a mountain of evidence proves the Paris robbery wasn't a publicity stunt. There is a still the sense that this family will turn it into one, just as they do everything else. Audiences would be shocked if this terrifying situation doesn't feature heavily in upcoming seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Over the years, the Kardashians have been accused of profiting from a sex tape, exploiting Khloe Kardashian's estranged husband Lamar Odom during his overdose scare, and profiting from marriages, divorces, and stints in rehab. Most people hide from the world during heartbreaking times, but the Kardashians have made a living off putting everything on display. With such low expectations, Kim now finds herself open to criticism, even during the worst possible time.

Will this change Kim's relationship with the press?

With audiences expecting attention-seeking behaviors from the Kardashians, it can be hard to truly sympathize with their struggles. After all, what's the point of trying to comfort someone who uses their tough times to become even more rich and famous? To be fair, it's possible the Kardashians might actually try to take a step back from the public eye after this. Neither Kim nor any member of her immediate family has been active on social media in the days following the incident, which is highly unusual.

Perhaps the best hope Kim has of gaining universal sympathy in this matter is to utilize her silence. The longer Kim goes without posting selfies, talking to the press, or saying anything about what happened, the more out of character it becomes. Someone like her actively avoiding publicity may jar the public into stepping back to examine her situation in greater context. What happened to Kim could become a reminder that terrible things can happen to anyone, regardless of fame. When Kim is ready to talk about the event—if ever—she could opt for a more serious, less ratings-driven medium.

Backlash or not, Kim is lucky

A source told TMZ that Kim considers the terrifying robbery "the worst moment in [her] life." When put in perspective, cruel comments by total strangers on the internet probably don't even register. Imagine you were attacked by strangers in your home, bound, and threatened with a gun. Imagine fearing for your life, but managing to escape unharmed. What would matter more in that moment: that you were alive and reuniting with your family...or what some total stranger tweeted about you? All things considered, Kim is lucky to be alive, and no doubt that's what matters most to her and to the people who love her.