Kim Kardashian is no stranger to TV: as the principal player in the long running Shakespearian troupe Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian used reality TV to turn herself into a brand and media empire. We know her for naked selfies, marrying Kanye West, and lots of other drama that's played out on screen, but in a new venture, Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project, she's showing a whole new side of herself: an attorney.
Oxygen's two-hour documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project shows how Kardashian West began her journey of campaigning for criminal justice reform and helping to convince the White House to grant Alice Marie Johnson clemency in June 2018. Johnson, a great-grandmother serving a life-plus-25-year sentence as a first-time nonviolent offender, benefited from Kim's celebrity in her case.
At the Television Critics Association press tour Kardashian West addressed accusations she does this work for publicity, or to make herself look good. "I'm very used criticism," she said when TV Guide asked her about those claims. "Nothing really phases me. I'm not doing it for publicity. I really do care and spend 20 hours a week away from my family and my kids."
Kardashian West is currently studying to be a lawyer and has to apprentice in a law firm; she said she just completed her first year and aced a recent test. This work is deeply personal to her, in part because of the makeup of her own family. "I have four black children," she explained, noting that injustices in the criminal justice system affect her kids and her kids' friends, and if she's able to fix a broken system for them and other kids like them, she'll do everything she can. "I really was not aware of so much that goes on for so long. There's so much that can be done in every single area, so it can be exhausting [and] frustrating, but I know that we can make a difference. So all the criticism in the world cannot deter me from what I really want to do."
The two-part series, which follows four cases, shows Kardashian West advocating for people including Dawn Jackson, Alexis Martin, Momolu Stewart, and David Sheppard, all of whom Kardashian West and legal experts believe have been unfairly sentenced. The documentary follows the origins of their individual stories, revealing the devastating circumstances that led them to take the actions that changed their lives forever. In her crusade to shed light on the criminal justice system and help people who are impacted by incarceration, Kim travels to the prisons, speaks to the families and friends, lobbies public officials, and consults with lawyers as well as her own legal team from #cut50 to develop strategies to facilitate their release.
Along the way, the film documents the progress that led to Momolu Stewart's and David Sheppard's releases from prison. It also highlights Kim's growing understanding of mandatory sentencing, the damaging problems of mass incarceration, and the importance of educational programs and rehabilitation efforts for a successful reentry into society.
This documentary is an inside look at Kim's efforts to secure freedom for Americans who she believes have been wronged by the justice system.
Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project premieres onSunday, April 5, at 7pm ET/PT.