E! has halted production on Keeping Up With the Kardashians in the wake of Kim Kardashian West’s Paris robbery—and for some, it’s news that’s almost as shocking as the robbery itself. When it comes to filming their reality show through deeply personal, often gut-wrenching moments, the Kardashian family rule has largely been that there is no rule: E!’s cameras have rolled through multiple breakups (including Kris Kardashian and then-Bruce Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom, Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, and Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries); Odom’s drug overdose and subsequent hospitalization; the back-to-back deaths of Disick’s parents. Kourtney Kardashian memorably televised the birth of her son Mason with viewers watching in awe as she pulled him from her birth canal. Though Rob Kardashian broke from the show and refused to film during his weight struggle and reported depression, even he is returning to reality TV with Rob & Chyna, a new E! show co-starring his fiancée, Blac Chyna.
But Kardashian West’s chilling ordeal seems to be the one thing—the first thing?—the show won’t film: “Kim’s well-being is our core focus right now,” a network spokesperson has said. “No decision has been made as to when production will resume.” That this incident was the one that shut down filming speaks volumes about the gravity of it all—according to reports, Kardashian West is “badly shaken up.” It’s also proof positive that, contrary to claims by the show’s bleakest critics, Kardashian West’s robbery was not a stunt staged to cook up (even more) attention and drive ratings.
Instead, the incident has reportedly thrown Kardashian West—and the fate of the family TV show—into question. She is reportedly “blaming herself” for the masked men who reportedly stormed her apartment at Paris’s No Address Hotel, bound and gagged her in the bathroom and stole more than $5.6 million worth of jewels, including her 20-carat diamond ring, said to be worth over $4 million. “She’s tearing herself up that she Snapchatted the ring so much and wore it all the time,” a source told People. “This incident is making her question everything. How she dresses, what she does.” There has never truly been a dark side to Kardashian West’s fame—even the sex tape that launched it all only helped make her a household name—until now.
Could it be that Kardashian West, who has spun every step of her personal life into reality TV gold—televising two weddings, two babies, fertility struggles, the state of her post-birth vagina—is ready to press pause? Keeping Up With the Kardashians is scheduled to run through at least 2018; it has remained a priority even as the family blew up far beyond the show: as Kardashian West became one of the highest-paid women in show business, as Kendall Jenner became a supermodel and Kylie Jenner a lip-kit mogul. Even Kanye West, who was initially said to be opposed to appearing regularly on the show, has become a more frequent player (though he skips the confessionals).
But with security now a legitimate concern, the question is: Will the Kardashians still want to keep it up?
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