Panels at today’s TCA included both Paris Hilton (here to open up about her untitled YouTube doc) and Kim Kardashian West, taking the stage for Oxygen’s Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project. Was this perhaps virtual candy store for reality TV fans?
At least for West, the focus was far from the highly public shenanigans of the Kardashian family and on a different kind of reality television: the two hour Justice Project special to air April 5 on Oxygen. The documentary tells the story of Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother who was serving a life-plus-25-year prison sentence as a first time nonviolent offender.
West campaigned for criminal justice reform and was instrumental in helping to persuade the White House to grant clemency for Johnson.
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West, who served as executive producer, was joined on the panel by fellow executive producers Vince DiPersio and Farnaz Farjam and Jessica Jackson, co-founder and senior counsel for #cut50, a bipartisan effort to decrease crime and incarceration in the United States.
West remained cool and poised when asked to respond to possible criticism that she is doing all this for the publicity.Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
“I’m very used to criticism, so nothing really fazes me,” West said. “I’m one of those not human souls who can really deal with it. However, I really genuinely just stay focused on cases and people …no I’m not just doing it for publicity.”
West got slightly more heated when she talked about the amount of time she devotes to her work, including hours away from her family. “Once you get so deep into the system, and I was really not aware of so much that (has gone on) for so long, you just can’t give up,” she said. “All the criticism in the world will not deter me from what I want to do.”
West calmly deflected a question about whether she can wield influence in the White House as she appears to have the ear of the president. When West spoke at a criminal justice reform event in June, Trump introduced her as a “great friend.”
“I wish it was that easy,” West said. “There are a lot of issues that I might privately speak about with people in power that I feel strongly about. However, I stay extremely focused on an issue we see eye to eye on. I have been just really focused to get a lot done, keep my eyes focused on what we connect on.”