On Sunday night, two incredibly rich, historically problematic individuals sat down for a televised meeting of the minds.
Alec “Black People Love Me” Baldwin and Kim “Bo Derek Braids” Kardashian are a conversational match made in hell, and this chat was yet another reminder that we’re currently living in it. To recap, Alec Baldwin’s #Resistance consists of softly parodying the president on SNL while the world burns around him. But Baldwin has consistently displayed Trumpian tendencies himself—so, naturally, ABC gave him his own talk show.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, to Baldwin’s predictable social media ire, the actor has a history of lashing out at women and journalists with sexist and homophobic put-downs, as well as of defending accused abusers. All of this makes him perfect for Kardashian, who has experience dealing with Donald Trump—and with Trump supporters, like her husband. As Kim recently admitted, she’s come to accept Kanye West’s newfound Republicanism as a means to an end, saying, “I am aware that Kanye speaking out in favor of Trump got me through the door—got him to pick up my call.” But while Kardashian has inarguably used her influence to do some good, this is hardly the time to just stand in the back and watch as your life partner co-signs a racist president, spreads false information and amplifies far-right voices.
Billed as “a conversation with Kim Kardashian West,” the second episode of The Alec Baldwin Show was a surprisingly dull showing, most likely due to Baldwin’s confusing interview style, which found him ricocheting between an unsolicited Mick Jagger impression and some incredibly clichéd questions. There are many, many things I’d like to ask Kim Kardashian—like, why? And him?!—but “What would you like to see your kids enjoy that you’ve enjoyed” is not one of them. Baldwin’s journalistic bag of tricks also includes repeatedly referencing “research” that’s been done for the interview and “figures” that have been compiled, while refusing to actually cite said figures.
As for research, as far as I can tell, that consisted of Baldwin sitting down and racking his brain for memories of hitting on Kim Kardashian. He opened the interview by talking to Kardashian about their personal history—most notably, that time when he ran into her at a party and told her, “You’re beautiful on the level that you should be in the movie business”—lest you were afraid that a conversation pegged to Kardashian’s business endeavors, family, and passion for criminal justice reform wouldn’t devolve into Baldwin making comments about dating his interview subject. This happened a number of times, including a highly cringe-worthy remark about how “jealous” Baldwin was of Kanye West when he heard that Kardashian cooks homemade meals.
Clearly, filtering isn’t Baldwin’s strong suit. That was most apparent when he asked about Caitlyn Jenner—specifically her transition. At one point, he went off on a long tangent about how Jenner used to coach his daughter Ireland’s school track team. “He would shake my hand, and I say this not with any judgment,” Baldwin began, all but promising an ill-advised comment. “There wasn’t a drop of Caitlyn in him when I knew him.” After doing an impression of Jenner at the time, seemingly playing up his “masculine” interests and demeanor, he concluded, “I didn’t see any of that coming.”
At Baldwin’s urging, Kardashian discussed walking in on Jenner dressed in women’s clothing when she was 25, after which she immediately packed a bag and ran out of the house. Jenner told Kardashian not to tell her mother, saying, “She’ll kill me.” Without getting into any of the reported drama between Caitlyn and the Kardashians, Kim said that she just wants Jenner to be happy.
When the conversation inevitably turned to Kanye West and Donald Trump, Baldwin predictably failed to ask the tough questions, letting Kardashian skate by on beauty-pageant platitudes about “having an open mind.” She explained, “I grew up in a household where Bruce, who was my stepdad, had one political view and maybe my real dad had a different political view, or my mom, and we would just always talk about it and be really open about it, and it was always OK to have different views.” Kardashian lets Kanye “be who he wants to be,” she stressed. “I let him have his own views and opinions even if they’re different than mine.”
Baldwin personally related to West’s partisanship, while observing that Kardashian seems more wary of publicly aligning with one political party. “I’m not so into politics,” Kardashian agreed, emphasizing her desire to keep her business “very separate.” While Baldwin later made a joke about “your husband’s favorite president,” he didn’t push back on Kardashian’s narrative about all the good that’s come from Kanye West’s recent rants. She theorized that Alice Johnson, whose life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense was commuted after Kardashian met with Trump on her behalf, would still be in prison if the reality star wasn’t married to a Trump supporter. She said that she and Johnson have “spoken about this a few times.”
“She always says, if it wasn’t for Kanye speaking up in support of Trump, then she would still be in jail.”
Moving forward, Kardashian revealed, “the bigger goal is to get these bills passed that really change the laws,” listing, “sentencing reform, bail reform.” She continued, “I basically have a team of attorneys... I fund cases that I’m really passionate about.” Pressed about money—an area of apparent fascination for Baldwin—she confirmed that she was funding this project with her own savings.
“I’m working on this guy right now that’s life for marijuana and a half a gram of cocaine,” Kardashian said, adding, “I read letters all day long from prison.” She also promised that upcoming episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians would delve into her “passion for criminal justice reform.”
Other conversation topics included Kardashian’s prepubescent fixation on becoming a reality-TV star and her struggle to readjust after the Paris robbery (“my mom had to come and say, will you get out of bed, will you put on something else other than sweats, put on a little bit of makeup, feel like yourself again”). She discussed how marriage and children have changed her, from focusing less on financial goals to finally valuing privacy and time away from the limelight. Baldwin took every available opportunity to talk about his multiple wives and the importance of “collaborative divorce.” The episode ended with a brief animated story, in which two terrifying caricatures of Kardashian and Baldwin discussed Kanye West’s traveling tips—namely, sending someone to your destination ahead of time to arrange all of your toiletries and personal belongings, so that you always have everything you need without ever having to lift a finger.
Stars—as much as they love to talk about their “normal” families and seemingly relatable struggles—they’re actually nothing like us!