Should ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Be Cancelled?


Amelia Pollicino

Illustration by Amelia Pollicino

Keeping Up With the Kardashians has managed to go on for sixteen seasons, and about twelve years later, viewers are still intrigued to see the drama that goes on in what is often referred to as reality television’s first family. Millions of viewers have grown up with the family, and many have idolized them, for better or worse. However, fifteen seasons in, they have struggled to raise their number of viewers which dipped to 809,000, which is low considering they used to be able to easily bring in about two million viewers per episode. With that said, one may think that the well-known family would finally decide to call it a quits; however, their sixteenth season recently aired on Sunday, Mar. 31.

It makes sense that the Kardashians were so popular when their show first aired. It was one of the first shows whose content was purely a family’s daily life, capturing all the drama that went on. They were the beginning of an era in television; however, that era is over. “Roughly 750 reality shows aired on primetime cable in 2015—83 percent higher than the number of scripted shows,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, according to Vox Magazine ( With that said, the reality television concept is played out and nothing new. Viewers do not have the same desire to tune in to a show whose plot has relatively been the same for twelve years when they have hundreds of other options.

Another possible reason that viewership has been so low is because the family is very controversial. Controversy and scandal are what make reality shows, or any show, interesting, but they are also controversial off-screen when dealing with problems that matter in the real world. Between Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad, numerous accusations against Kim Kardashian of cultural appropriation, and the incorrect portrayal of what the “ideal” body is to young viewers in the midst of a body confidence movement, they have been involved in many conflicts. Amintta Ragavanis, freshman, said, “I think [the show] should be cancelled. It gives the public too much information about their daily lives. Some things are fine to be put on TV, but there are some things that need to be kept private. I think the show [also] causes too much conflict between the family members.”

Some may also argue that the Kardashians use their platform for good. They have helped to bring awareness to issues such as prison reform in the U.S. justice system and gun violence. In one episode, Kim Kardashian was shown working with lawyers to get Alice Marie Johnson released from jail because she was sentenced to life in prison without parole due to a first offense, nonviolent crime. The show also displayed Kim taking her eldest child, North West, to March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., and she spoke with the students who founded the movement to ask them how people can help support the cause. There are some positive messages that can be taken away from the show. Helaina Rehs, sophomore, said, “It shouldn’t make a difference. It’s a show, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch it. They shouldn’t have to cancel it. There are people who actually enjoy it. I’m not one of them, but why rain on their parade?” Kim Tejada, sophomore, commented, “No [it should not be cancelled] because it is entertaining and shows people a sense of what being famous is like.” Who knows how long the show will continue to go on for, but, for now, the family will continue to make headlines and entertain viewers worldwide.