Kardashian complains of ‘racist’ Vienna

Kardashian complains of 'racist' Vienna
Richard Lugner and Kim Kardashian at the Opera Ball. Photo: APA/Georg Hochmuth
American reality TV star Kim Kardashian has called her trip to Vienna to attend the Opera Ball “a true nightmare,” adding that “it was so racist”.

Scenes from the trip were shown on Sunday night's episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and Kim told her sister that “it's like we're honestly in a time warp. Racial insensitivity, everything from this trip, has just been a true nightmare.”

Kardashian was confronted by an Austrian comedian in full 'blackface' when she was a VIP guest of entrepreneur Richard Lugner at the ball, four months ago.

The TV cameras caught her shock at seeing him calling out “Kim, I'm here” – clearly pretending to be her husband, American rapper Kanye West.

“I don't get why him or anyone else would find this funny. This is supposed to be a really nice, upscale event. How did this guy get in? Is this just like a sick joke?” Kardashian said.

The culprit, Chris Stephan, who describes himself as the “naughtiest” society reporter in Austria said he wanted to get an interview with Kardashian, and mistakenly thought the ‘disguise’ would work, but that he never intended it to be an “act of racism”.

Kardashian said she had previously dismissed her husband Kanye's complaints about racism still being such a current problem. “I obviously understood it, but it's just such a different thing when you experience it yourself,” she admitted.

As her final commitment in Vienna Kardashian did a live TV interview with ORF host Mirjam Wechselbraun, and it was then that another comedian, German actor Oliver Pocher, left her visibly shocked and uncomfortable as he joked that he was only going to dance when “Ni**as in Vienna” was played – a reference to Kanye and Jay-Z's song, “Ni**as In Paris”.

Kardashian says her reaction was "Oh my God. Did he say what I think he just said?" Her mother, who was also there, added: "I get that he's a comedian but clearly that was incredibly inappropriate."

Kardashian said the Vienna Ball was “super glamorous”, but that she was suffering from anxiety as she found it “super claustrophobic”.

Expats working in Austria have also complained of being confronted with racism, and one wrote an Op-Ed for The Local about his experience.  

ZARA (Zivilcourage und Anti-­Rassismus-­Arbeit), an NGO which monitors racism in Austria, identified 731 racist incidents in 2013, 53 of which were graffiti. The majority of these incidents occurred in the public sphere – a comment by a politician, an unjust arrest, or an indiscriminate attack.


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