Professional celebrity Kylie Jenner has found herself in the midst of a new controversy, after new reports that her clothing line has refused to pay its Bangladeshi factory workers after cutting their work orders. Kylie’s representer Global Brand Group canceled orders due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but have cut off factory workers in both Bangladesh and Los Angeles with no pay. Rapper Cardi B’s FashionNova, which sources their products through the same distributors, has taken similar actions, but her name has not made the headlines.
Sources estimate that the Los Angeles factory has affected up to 50,000 women so far, most of whom who are also ineligible for government assistance due to their immigration status.
Rick Darling, CEO of Global Brands Group, defended the decision, saying that there is simply no work due to a slow down in demand from the pandemic.
"Consequently, we’ve no other option but to make the difficult decision to cancel all S/S 2020 orders from all suppliers (without liability)," he said.
Kylie’s fans have responded with outrage, and have filled the comments section of her Instagram posts with negative remarks about the situation, causing her to delete many of her posts. However, it is important to note that the decision was not made by the Jenner sisters, it was an order handed down by corporate bosses at Global Brands Group. Regardless, the famous young celebrity is the one getting the heat.
I'm not seeing any of my mutals tweet about this so I'm begging all of you to do it:
Kylie& kendall Jenner arent paying their workers in bangladesh and both of them have turned off their comments. They've gone WEEKS without any payment and are on the brink if starvation pic.twitter.com/BfSgNwoQSm
— Jin⁷ (@themoonlightjin) June 25, 2020
Forbes estimated that Kylie earned $590 million in the last 12 months, mostly from the sale of a 51 percent stake in her Kylie Cosmetics line.
In 2014 and 2015, Time magazine listed the Jenner sisters on their list of the most influential teens in the world, citing their considerable influence among youth on social media. With over 180 million followers, she is one of the most-followed people on Instagram. In 2017, Jenner was placed on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, making her the youngest person to be featured on the list. In November 2018, New York Post credited her for being the most influential celebrity in the fashion industry.
According to Forbes, in 2019, Jenner's net worth was estimated at $1 billion, making her, at age 21, the world's youngest billionaire as of March 2019. However, In May 2020, Forbes released a statement accusing Jenner of forging tax documents so she would appear as a billionaire. She was accused of fabricating revenue figures for Kylie Cosmetics, and was later stripped of her billionaire title.
The same day, Jenner responded in a series of tweets, writing: "What am I even waking up to? I thought this was a reputable site... All I see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. I've never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. Period." Jenner's attorney also demanded that Forbes retract the statements, calling the magazine's accusations "unequivocally false". Forbes responded by saying that they spent months uncovering the facts and concluded that their "extensively-reported investigation was triggered by newly-filed documents that revealed glaring discrepancies between information privately supplied to journalists and information publicly supplied to shareholders".