14 Times Celebs Showed Off How Stinkin' Rich They Are And Got Called Out For It (But Mostly The Kardashian-Jenners)
While some rich and famous celebs prefer more low-key lifestyles, others love to flaunt their wealth. While it's fine to appreciate what you have, the excessive showing off can come across as pretty darn out-of-touch during a time of inflation and increased costs of living.
Sometimes, fans who are more adversely affected by these economic factors criticize celebs for their ostentatious displays of wealth and the privilege that comes along with it — and occasionally, the celebs try to defend themselves.
Here are 14 celebs who responded to criticism of their wealth or privilege:
1.THE SITUATION: Kourtney Kardashian Barker celebrated her 44th birthday with a family getaway to Santa Barbara. She was surprised with giant "happy birthday" balloons and a humongous flower arrangement (which you can see in the fifth slide below).
THE CRITICISM: Alongside birthday wishes from fans, her comments were also filled with disapproval toward the giant bouquet.
THE RESPONSE: To one commenter who asked, "What do you think they do with the flowers after they are looked at?" Kardashian Barker replied, "We donate them to the children's hospital."
2.THE SITUATION: The Kardashian-Jenner family is known for throwing lavish parties, from elaborate birthday bashes for their kids to their famously lavish Christmas party.
THE CRITICISM: On Twitter, a fans asked, "What do y'all do with all the props, decor, and leftover food after birthday parties?"
Serious question... what do y’all do with all the props, decor, and leftover food after birthday parties!!? I just watched khloe’s from last weekend, North/P’s the week before and Saint’s last night. It’s SO MUCH, I’m so curious! @khloekardashian @KimKardashian @kourtneykardash
THE RESPONSE: Khloé Kardashian replied, "The decor is normally rented, but anything personal (like the quote signs) I have in storage for another function one day. The food leftovers always get donated to a food bank or church. Sometimes, the food may go elsewhere, depending on the situation."
3.THE SITUATION: On a 2022 episode of The Kardashians, Kim Kardashian showed off her meticulously organized wardrobe warehouse, which contains 30,000 pieces of clothing she's worn over the years.
THE CRITICISM: Viewers called it "wasteful" and "hoarding."
Kim k having a warehouse with 30,000 pieces of archived clothing she hasn’t seen since 2012 feels so wasteful
Not because its cool to hate on Kim or whatever, but this goes beyond collecting fashion pieces. This is plain hoarding, and many young creatives may benefit and be inspired by seeing the same 30,000 pieces in a public institution like a museum. https://t.co/34zT6mLtCg
THE RESPONSE: For her sister Kourtney's wedding, Kim re-wore a dress she'd previously worn at the 2011 Glamour Awards. Sharing pictures on Twitter, she said, "I know you guys just saw me in my [archive] on last week's episode of The Kardashians! I have every piece photographed and on an app. So, when I knew I was going to Italy (LOVE a theme for a trip), I pulled all my Dolce & Gabbana clothes to try on again and see if I could re-wear anything!"
She continued, "But to make the dress more modern and more me, I wore this lace gloved [Vetements] dress I had in my closet for a layered lace look."
4.THE SITUATION: In 2019, Forbes named Kylie Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire ever.
THE CRITICISM: A year later, Forbes revoked her billionaire status and accused her of lying about her net worth with allegedly potentially forged documents.
THE RESPONSE: On Twitter, Jenner refuted their claims and called the publication's credibility into question.
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
i can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money i have
5.THE SITUATION: In 2020, a fan of Khloé Kardashian tweeted that she'd have to work 20 hours to afford a pair of jeans from Good American, the reality star's clothing brand. In a reply, Kardashian called it "cute."
@K_Abner_ Awwwwww this is so cute!!!! I’m so happy you enjoy them
THE CRITICISM: On Twitter, people called out Kardashian for completely missing the point of the original tweet.
@khloekardashian @K_Abner_ It's cute that she has to work 20 hrs to afford 1 pair of jeans??? Yikes 😞
i *can’t* get over khloe kardashian saying awwwww this is so cute to a girl saying she has to work 20 hours to afford a pair of her jeans
THE RESPONSE: A few days later, Kardashian gifted the fan a big box of Good American clothes. On Twitter, she told her, "I am so happy you received your Good American goodies!!! Keep working hard and being such a positive soul."
6.THE SITUATION: On Twitter, Chrissy Teigen asked her followers, "What's the most expensive thing you’ve eaten that you thought sucked?" Then, she followed up with her own anecdote about the time she and her husband, John Legend, accidentally ordered a $13,000 bottle of wine.
one time john and I were at a restaurant and the waiter recommended a nice Cabernet. We got the bill and it was 13,000 dollars. HOW DO U CASUALLY RECOMMEND THAT WINE. we didn’t even finish it and it had been cleared!!!
THE CRITICISM: Her story wasn't well-received, and many mocked her for seemingly trying to be "relatable."
@chrissyteigen This is how you know money isn’t real & capitalism is straight garbage. Y’all can accidentally buy a $13,000 bottle of wine but most Americans can’t afford a $300 emergency 🤦🏻♀️😣
THE RESPONSE: After seeing her name trending, she tweeted, "Hey, not everything I say on my Twitter is going to be relatable to you because it is my life and my Twitter and my stories. I see your tweets, I get your jokes, you are so funny, yes, you really nailed me."
@Lyndy04493800 didn’t say it was and doesn’t have to be. Should I be tiptoeing
7.THE SITUATION: In late 2022, the UK was experiencing a cost of living crisis and exponentially increasing energy costs, and many people were forced to chose between one necessity or another. Meanwhile, luxury lifestyle influencer Lydia Millen made a TikTok about "checking into the Savoy," a hotel with rooms starting around $1,000 a night, and making "full use of their wonderful hot water" because her heating was "broken" at home.
THE CRITICISM: Before she turned the comments off, many of them called her out for being out-of-touch.
THE RESPONSE: To one user who said they couldn't afford to turn their heating on, she replied, "My heart breaks, too. It's honestly heartbreaking. I just hope you know that other peoples' realities can be different, and that's not wrong." Additionally, on Instagram, her posts about the hotel appeared to be sponsored.
8.THE SITUATION: During a 2022 stand-up show in San Francisco, Dave Chappelle brought Elon Musk out onstage and introduced him as "the richest man in the world."
THE CRITICISM: The audience loudly booed him. You can see and hear their reaction here.
THE RESPONSE: Quoting Chappelle's Show, Musk shouted, "I'm rich, bitch!"
9.THE SITUATION: In March 2020, billionaire entertainment executive David Geffen posted an Instagram picture of his mega-yacht and captioned it, "Isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I hope everybody is staying safe."
THE CRITICISM: On Twitter, he was called out and mocked for the boastful, out-of-touch post.
THE RESPONSE: Rather than comment, he deleted his Instagram account.
10.THE SITUATION: While reflecting on one of her outfits from the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Bella Hadid told Vogue, "I never, growing up, had anything designer. My mom wouldn't let me. I think I got my first pair of Louboutins when I graduated high school. It makes me emotional actually, because I'm so happy in this picture, for the first time in my whole adult life...I feel so good about myself, I felt beautiful...compared to [my younger self]; she was so sad, and [current me] is so content and happy."
THE CRITICISM: Commenters on the original YouTube video and a reposted clip on TikTok weren't having it. They mocked her for treating growing up without expensive clothing as a hardship, especially considering she comes from a wealthy family.
THE RESPONSE: In the comments of that reposted clip, Hadid wrote, "The context of this was that a lot of people think I grew up buying and wearing designer things. ... I never take anything I've ever had for granted."
11.THE SITUATION: Molly-Mae Hague is a Love Island contestant-turned-creative director for Pretty Little Thing, a clothing company that's been accused of illegally underpaying garment workers. On The Diary of a CEO podcast, she said, "Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in the day that we do, and I just think, like, you're given one life, and it's up to you what you do with it, you can literally go in any direction."
THE CRITICISM: In the YouTube comments, viewers called her out for being unaware of her multilayered privilege.
THE RESPONSE: On her Instagram story, she said, "I wanted to come back online today as normal, but I feel like before I do, I just wanted to say this. ... When I say or post anything online, it is never with malice or ill intent. I completely appreciate that things can affect different people in different ways; however, I just want to stress that I would never intend to hurt or upset anyone by anything that I say or do. I apologize to the people that [have] been affected negatively or misunderstood the meaning of what I said in the podcast; the intentions of the podcast were only ever to tell my story and inspire from my own experience."
12.THE SITUATION: On NBC's New Year's Eve, Blake Shelton premiered his new song, "Minimum Wage," which is about a woman whose love can "make a man feel rich on minimum wage." Introducing it, he said, "I can't speak for everybody else, but I had a great 2020. Even though a lot of bad stuff happened personally for me, I got engaged to Gwen Stefani, and I don't care what else happened besides that. That made it a great year."
THE CRITICISM: Considering that, at the time, many people were experiencing pandemic-related unemployment and financial losses, many fans felt the lyrics were out-of-touch.
blake shelton singing “your love could make a man feel rich on minimum wage” just cements the fact that rich people have absolutely no fucking clue
Losing my mind watching Blake Shelton, a man who has $100M, sing "Your love is money, you make me feel rich on minimum wage" to close out 2020
THE RESPONSE: Shelton told CMT, "Whatever this backlash is, is just four or five people that probably don't know anything about country music. They clearly hadn't heard the song or read the lyrics. If they had, they couldn't feel this way about the song. It's literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain't got much money — as long as you have love and you're happy — at the end of the day, that's all any of us can really hope for. You got it if you got that. That's all that matters. And if that's offensive to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree."
13.THE SITUATION: In 2021, CBS announced a new reality show called The Activist, which would challenge real-life activists to compete to promote their chosen causes. It was supposed to be hosted by Julianne Hough, Usher, and Priyanka Chopra.
THE CRITICISM: On Twitter, users criticized the show's premise as "grotesque," a waste of money that could've been donated instead, and "the epitome of performative activism."
Pleased to announce I’ll be on the debut season of “The Activist,” working against my fellow activists to be the best activist, with Usher as my mentor.A better world is possible, we just have to be willing to duel with other activists to the death, for entertainment!
THE RESPONSE: On Instagram, Julianne Hough said, "I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark, and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge. ... I want to digest, understand, and respond in a way that is authentic and aligned with the woman I am becoming. I also understand that there is no response that I could share that would make everyone happy. However, I want you to know that this is a conversation, and I'm still listening."
The show was later canceled and reworked into a documentary.