President Donald Trump is about to become a grandfather for a ninth time.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians cameras didn’t capture the night when Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, but Sunday’s episode of the E! series pieced the story together using a mixture of interviews, the emergency call to the police, headlines, and footage of her husband, Kanye West, stopping his concert because of a “family emergency.”
At the time, the public’s reaction to the Oct. 3 robbery was — as is often the case when bad things happen to the Kardashians — fraught, if not mean-spirited. There were those who thought it was staged and others who said that it was only a matter of time until something like this happened, given the opulence the Kardashians, particularly Kim, displayed on social media. A few late-night comedians had a field day as well. Jimmy Kimmel said (somewhat nonsensically), “If we find out you harmed even a single extension on her People’s Choice Award-winning head, we will find you and we will make you so les misérables, you will wish you were never born to a woman who doesn’t shave her armpits.” And Conan O’Brien said: “No one was hurt, but in a mansion in Paris, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint. Kim was bound and gagged — then the robbers broke in.” It wasn’t only comedians: The political pundits of Morning Joe also mocked the robbery. (James Corden, however, defended Kardashian, tweeting: “People making jokes about @KimKardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend. Be nice or shut up.”)
Kardashian hadn’t previously publicly recounted the events of the robbery — in which an estimated $10 million in jewelry was stolen, including her 20-carat diamond engagement ring. But it wasn’t surprising that she chose to do so on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which has always served as her method of self-expression, along with social media.
The episode begins with the Kardashians arriving in New York City, surrounded by the paparazzi asking Kardashian how she is. In an elevator, she tells West she doesn’t want to talk about the robbery in front of their children, out of fear she might cry and worry them.
The episode then goes back in time a week, showing Kardashian’s excitement about taking the trip — she is accompanied by, among other people, her sister Kourtney, as well as her sister Kendall Jenner, who’s appearing in a show during Paris’ Fashion Week.
The episode finally gets to the robbery at a residential hotel in Paris around the 22-minute mark, showing West leaving the stage during his concert and Kardashian’s mom, Kris Jenner, and Kendall and Kourtney in confessional interviews, describing when they first heard Kardashian had been held up at gunpoint.
Around the 50-minute mark, Kardashian finally tells the story of what happened to Kourtney and her other sister, Khloé, who was not in Paris at the time. It’s edited with a confessional in which she says she thinks she was being followed throughout the trip, and that she had Snapchatted that she was alone in the apartment where the robbery took place. Two men dressed as police, who had handcuffed the concierge and taken him up to unlock her room, tied her up. Through tears, Kardashian remembers saying to the concierge: “Are we gonna die? Like, what’s happening to us? Like, I have babies. Please tell them. Please, they can’t understand me, but tell them I have babies at home, like, please, like, I have a family, like, let me live.”
Kardashian was already tied up on the bed, but the robbers duct-taped her mouth. She says that as the robbers pulled her by the legs to the edge of the bed, she mentally prepared for them to rape her, but they didn’t. She still assumed they would kill her and she prayed that Kourtney could have a “normal life after she sees [her] dead body on the bed.”
“That was the last thought,” she tells Kourtney and Khloé. “And then they put me in the bathroom. And ran. Whatever.”
The episode ends with a montage of the Kardashian Wests, and their children, mostly featuring footage from before the robbery and Instagram photos Kardashian posted after — and then Kourtney, Khloé, and Kim hugging.
In January, 17 people were arrested in association with the robbery, and 10 were charged. In early February, Kardashian flew to New York to testify before a French judge.
After so much buildup, there was a flatness to the episode that undercut the obvious trauma of the event. Kardashian, who has lived her life in public since the 2007 premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, took a long break from social media in its aftermath. She had tweeted the day before the robbery, but didn’t return to Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat until nearly three months after. During that time, the anguish from the robbery was not her only problem: In November 2016, her husband, Kanye West, began to act erratically, arriving late to his concerts and, once there, going on rants about Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Donald Trump. Soon after, West was admitted to UCLA Medical Center for a week for exhaustion, among other things. From the trailer for this season’s events, West’s breakdown will also be featured.
Being accused of exploiting her own life is clearly a sensitive issue for Kardashian. In the episode, she says she had been monitoring the public’s reactions. “People like Howard Stern are saying I should go to jail if this is fake,” she tells her mom. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, she explained why she would show such a personal thing on television.
Courtesy of MasterClass
Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer says filmmakers who hire him are still taking a “huge gamble,” despite the hundreds of credits to his name. “I am gonna try and come up with some crazy idea a lot of the time — it might not work out,” he told BuzzFeed News at the London West Hollywood in Los Angeles earlier this week. But he lobbed an even more “enormous” dare at filmmakers: Hire more women.
“A lot of female composers I know are better than me,” the acclaimed German musician and record producer said, citing Oscar winners Anne Dudley (The Full Monty, Elle, American History X) and Rachel Portman (Emma, Chocolat, The Joy Luck Club) as examples. “Shirley Walker could write a kick-ass action cue better than I ever could. … So take that risk.”
It’d be an understatement to say there’s a general lack of female composers working on major Hollywood movies: According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women made up just 3% of composers working on the top 250 highest-grossing films last year. Yes, there was one woman (Jackie’s Mica Levi) out of five nominees up for Best Original Score at the Oscars in February, but there were only six women among the 169 composers with eligible feature-length entries from 2016. (Compare that number to the nine potential nominees named John.)
Mica Levi at the 89th Annual Academy Awards
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Explaining the source of the disparity, Zimmer cited “sheer bloody sexism” and “a lack of equality.” “All the things you know to be true are true,” he said. “They are not given a chance.”
Zimmer’s had firsthand experience with urging new musicians to make their way into what he calls his “weirdly conservative” world. He’s taught and mentored musicians out of his LA-based Remote Control Productions studio for 27 years, and more than 10,000 students have already signed up for his new MasterClass online course on film scoring, which launched this week. In his experience, he noted, the movie music realm can attract a homogenous crowd of artists.
Zimmer said he and Hidden Figures collaborator Pharrell Williams discussed just that topic while they worked together the first time, providing music supervision for the 2012 Oscars ceremony. “The people that apply for jobs at my studio are mostly white, and mostly male. Why is that?” Zimmer said he asked Williams, who then explained how racial barriers cause black film composers to remain underrepresented. “I broke down your door. … Do you have any idea how many doors and walls I had to break down to enter, just to get to your door?” Zimmer said Williams retorted.
Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer at the 2015 Grammy Awards
Larry Busacca / Getty Images
Similar barriers exist for female composers, Zimmer said. “Maybe the problem is, partly, that women have been so socialized and so beaten down by a system constantly denying them access that they don’t even try.”
He tipped his hat to Levi as an instigator of change in the film music world, as one of the rare women to have earned an Academy Award nomination. “She’s an exception. But you always need to have an exception to start leading the charge. She’s completely original and [does] completely brilliant work,” he said. “If something as conservative and established as the Oscars can actually [nominate] eclectic music,” then perhaps gender won’t be a consideration in the future, he mused.
Sheila E. and Prince in 2007
Vince Bucci / Getty Images
Zimmer also pointed out that artists like Prince — who “always had the tightest band ever” with players like Sheila E. and Wendy & Lisa — helped to change the game by including women in their ensembles. “This is everybody’s job in entertainment. We’re supposed to do something new. And not just new, but it needs to register. It needs to communicate. So if you’re leaving out 50% of the great communicators by leaving out women, then you’re only talking to half your audience.”
As for women who are making their way through the film-composing industry today, Zimmer has this advice: “Don’t think of yourself as anything other than an equal. Break down the doors. It’s only doors.”