People Are Slamming North West’s Lion King Performance — But It's Never OK to Trash Talk a Kid

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Claws are coming out after North West’s stage debut last weekend. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s eldest daughter, 10, performed as Young Simba in the 30th anniversary live concert special of Disney’s The Lion King at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and people were not happy about her performance, claiming that nepotism played a part in North landing the coveted role.

After her performance, North was met by a standing ovation, per Mirror, who revealed that Kardashian and West were in attendance as well as Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, and Travis Barker. Despite the audience loving the show, people who watched her performance online had a different take. One TikTok video, with 18.3 million views, showed a clip of North’s performance, where she is seen in a yellow hoodie with a fur-lined hat, matching yellow sweat shorts, tall yellow socks, and yellow slippers (all the other actors and dancers were in elaborate Lion King costumes). In the clip, she sang “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.”

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Kanye West and North West on the catwalk (Photo by WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Kanye West and North West on the catwalk (Photo by WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)

The TikToker said that her daughter has been on Broadway “four times” but lost out to North. In the video, the angry mom tells a story about her daughter, and claimed that Kardashian “pulled strings” to get North the part. “[My daughter] made it through four rounds of callbacks. The final round was three girls, and my daughter was one of them,” the TikToker said. “But while we were waiting in the audition room with one other girl and her mother, someone walked in. It was Kim Kardashian with North West. We had heard that there was someone that was in the industry that was pulling strings to get their daughter in front of the casting director.”

“Mr. Hollywood, I hope you learned your lesson to not cast a nepo baby over talent ever again,” she finished.

People agreed with her, with one person writing, “Omg i literally thought north was performing at a school play.”

“Beyonce would’ve at LEAST made sure Blue rehearsed,” someone else wrote. “It seems like North just showed up.”

People also took to Twitter to voice their disappointment. “I’m sorry but casting North West as Simba when there are hundreds of properly trained theatre kids with voice coaches, dance skills, and experience was a HORRIBLE choice,” one person said. “It definitely makes you question the credibility of the casting director. You let Kim pay to ruin your show.”

“Not all kids are good at all things and they need to be taught that,” said another person. “There were likely dozens of experienced kids that should have been cast.”

Someone else shared a picture of North during the musical, writing, “I won’t comment on the performance of North West at the Lion King live show, because she’s 10. But, what the hell is she wearing? Who thought, hey, she needs to look like Simba, pull out the yellow barrister wig? I’ve seen Walmart onesies that look better.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12: Kim Kardashian and daughter North West attend the the Western Conference Semifinal Playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors at Crypto.com Arena on May 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 12: Kim Kardashian and daughter North West attend the the Western Conference Semifinal Playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors at Crypto.com Arena on May 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

However, several people were in North’s corner, defending her from online critics. (She’s only 10, people!!) “Y’all be so mean to these celeb KIDS. It’s the adults who are wrong for making the kids do auditions, not the child who was selected,” one person said.

“Like, I understand the arguments made about nepo babies, but am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that we’re trash talking this child?” another wrote.

Jason Weaver, who was the singing voice of young Simba in the 1994 animated film, attended the event and shared a picture of himself and North on Instagram.

“What an honor it is to share the same stage with this young superstar in the making!! 😁⭐️⭐️⭐️” he wrote. “I’m so PROUD [of] you, North!! You’re doing a such PHENOMENAL job in this show! I can’t wait for people to see your performance of ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ when ‘The Lion King 30th Anniversary Celebration’ eventually starts streaming on @disneyplus!!”

He added, “You’re a true professional, and I wish you nothing but the best as you continue your journey towards GREATNESS!! Let’s run it back one more time for em tonight!! 😁🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾💯💯💯💯”

Regardless of any “nepo baby” string-pulling or the (very subjective) quality of her performance, people need to back off. North West may be a celebrity kid, but she’s still a kid — and personal attacks toward any kid should be off the table.

Before you go, check out all the times North West proved she’s a star in her own right.

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