After negotiating an early release and writing the foreword to her book, After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom, Kim Kardashian is still paying it forward to Alice Marie Johnson. The 64-year-old great-grandmother landed a gig fronting SKIMS Solutionwear, Kardashian's line of shapewear. According to People, Johnson's first order of business is starring in a video promoting the line's sculpting bodysuit, but Twitter isn't happy about the situation, saying that Kardashian is twisting what seemed like a genuine humanitarian effort into a way to promote her line.
"I was serving a 25-year sentence without the possibility of parole. Kim saw a video of me. She heard my story. She said, 'This is so unfair.' And by the way, I didn’t even know who Kim Kardashian was!" Johnson said in SKIMS's first promo video. "She went to war for me to fight for my freedom. That's why I call her my 'war angel,' because nothing stood between her and my freedom."
Critics saw the move as a calculated way for Kardashian to profit off of Johnson's situation. During her visits to the White House Kardashian worked to promote the First Step Act, which helps freed prisoners land on their feet when they return to civilian life. Nobody expected her to take the lead and hire Johnson, but being that it's 2019, some Twitter users aren't surprised that what seemed like a good-hearted gesture could be construed as a for-profit promotional move.
miss kim put alice marie johnson in her shapewear in a move that is so 2019 we should've seen it coming https://t.co/BEke4F4G6p— Connor Perrett (@connorperrett) August 29, 2019
Um why does Kim Kardashian have Alice Marie Johnson modeling skims??— ST (@sandyloving_) August 29, 2019
No fucking way Kim kardashian is using Alice Marie Johnson for her shapewear line promo. I can’t with this woman loool— aman (@honeymoonbbe) August 29, 2019
Kim has Ms. Alice Marie Johnson in a body sculptor ad on IG. I am unable.— Dr. Petty Shabazz (@Shaye_Tova) August 29, 2019
One user even compared the relationship between Kardashian and Johnson to the white savior trope, which involves a white person working to help a person of color, but in a manner that's ultimately self-serving. Films like Glory Road and Get Out illustrate the same idea.
In addition to Johnson, women of all "ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and professions" are set to star in a series of videos to promote SKIMS.