As Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK) nears its conclusion, Kim Kardashian and the show’s producers are opening up about the decision to address her sex tape on the very first episode in 2007.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kardashian, 40, said in hindsight she likely wouldn’t have publicly addressed the scandal had “KUWTK” not existed. Of course, the show took off and producers have since rejoiced at its 20-seasons of longevity.
The family announced last September that the 20th season of “KUWTK” would be the last after 14 years on the air. A new Kardashian imprint is set to hit Hulu in late 2021.
“I do think that, obviously, as producers, I’m sure they loved it,” the newly-minted billionaire told the Times. “And loved [us] wanting to talk about the elephant in the room. And I probably wouldn’t have, unless it was for the show. Sometimes I feel like, ‘OK, I know I should probably deal and get this over with. Someone’s going to ask me, so I might as well just go ahead and do it.'”
During the episode, Kourtney Kardashian helped Kim prepare for an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show. When she asked her sister why she made the tape with rapper Ray J, Kim replied, “Because I was horny and I felt like it.”
Lisa Berger, who served as executive vice president of original programming and series development at E! when KUWTK was conceptualized, insists the sex tape had nothing to do with the network pursuing the series. “I think everyone’s like, ‘The sex tape made the show happen.’ It was so not about that at all,” Berger told the paper.
And while the sex tape was certainly a big moment in both Kim’s life and on the show, it was not the inspiration behind the series.
“I think everyone’s like, ‘The sex tape made the show happen.’ It was so not about that at all,” Lisa Berger, who at the time was the executive vice president of original programming and series development at E!, added to the LA Times.
“I remember Kim being conflicted about it, because she hated everything that was going on around that tape,” executive producer Farnaz Farjam said. “We all talked about, ‘We just have to own all the controversy around this family’ and jumped in with both feet in the first episode. Then, the audience can get to know them at a much deeper level than what’s been tabloid headlines.”
Family matriarch Kris Jenner noted that Kourtney, 42, was the only one that was initially “hesitant” about doing the show.
“Kourtney was a little hesitant. She was like, ‘Wait, what are we doing? Let me let me just wrap my head around it,'” Kris, 65, explained. “But everybody else was so enthusiastic. I went into that meeting with a lot of confidence and anticipation that it was really going to happen. And I just really felt like that was the move for us as a family.”
Over a decade later, the show is coming to an end — the family announced last September that the 20th season of KUWTK would be the last.
“To our amazing fans – It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kim said in a statement shared on Instagram.
“After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children. We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way.”