Another day, another controversy in the Kardashian bubble.
This time, it is Kim Kardashian who has come under fire for her latest eBay Giving Works auction in which a “percentage of the proceeds” will aid victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster. But it’s the key word “percentage” that has many crying foul, as just 10 percent, while fully disclosed, will go to the International Medical Corps relief efforts.
“The proceeds will go directly to the communities they’re serving in the Philippines and will help typhoon survivors get access to medical care and ultimately save lives,” Kardashian wrote on her auction page. “My prayers and thoughts are with those affected by the typhoon.”
However, crisis communications expert Glenn Selig is just one of many disturbed by the slim donation percentage and told FOX411 that typically most bidders assume the majority goes to the stated cause.
“When you say something is for the charity, the assumption is much more than 10 percent goes to charity. And when the charity angle is leveraged to boost bidding or to drum up news coverage, when only 10 percent goes to charity people likely will be taken,” he said. “It is wrong to mislead the public.”
Sources tell Fox411 that Kardashian does make a profit from the auction – which ended on Sunday – but contrary to multiple reports, it isn’t 90 percent. EBay takes roughly 9 percent for eBay fees on fashion items, as well as 2.9 percent for domestic and 3.9 percent for international payments received. The auction promoters also take an undisclosed cut from the final sales.
But across the Twitterverse, many are up in arms that the prominent personality and fiancée of Kanye West, who is worth an estimated $40 million, isn’t shelling out a little more.
“Kim Kardashian being selfish selling things for ‘charity’ on eBay and only giving away 10%. Come on 50% at least,” wrote one. Another tweeted: “How dare you use these people’s misery to make money? Don’t you and boyfriend have enough money without using these poor wretched souls in their hour of desperation. Shame on you!”
Yet the E! reality star has been opening up her personal wardrobe to fans via the eBay Giving Works auction umbrella for several years, even long before she was a hugely known name in the entertainment industry, as FOX411 revealed last year. It has always been the case with her auctions that a disclosed 10 percent — the minimal amount required by the eBay charitable arm — would be donated to her designated philanthropic cause. And, according to her rep, Kardashian donates 10 percent of absolutely everything she earns – from public appearances to endorsements to her television salary – to charity, which would make her one of the most generous of the Hollywood types.
“Nobody has to give anything, and yet Kim gives 10 percent of everything and now she is being judged for it,” a rep for the star insisted.
Others also asserted that every little bit counts, and that Kardashian should be praised – not condemned – for her contributions in helping others, irrespective if she makes a profit from it.
“People like to bash Kim all the time no matter what she does, and it simply isn’t fair. This is the quintessential example of no good deed going unpunished. Kim Kardashian did the right thing – and it’s simply not fair to bash her for this,” said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, a leading NY PR Agency.
A rep for the International Medical Corps also stood by the star amid the ongoing backlash, stating that they are nothing but grateful for the reality star’s support of their Philippines Typhoon Emergency Response.
“As International Medical Corps’ emergency response teams are reaching the hardest-hit areas, it is critical that we’re able to immediately deliver medical care and vital medicines,” the rep stated. “The generous support of all of our donors allows our first responders to rapidly deliver lifesaving health services to affected families, alleviate suffering and restore hope in the communities that need it most.”
And while eBay didn’t comment directly on the Kardashian case, a rep for the company assured us that eBay Inc. is committed to building a future that enables and inspires charitable giving at a scale never seen before and, to-date, more than $350 million has been raised on eBay Giving Works, with more than 30,000 organizations benefiting from the auctions..