Ayelet Waldman is on the rampage.
The writer took to Twitter and Facebook yesterday in a rant against “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” the cartoon game app put out by — you guessed it — Kim Kardashian. According to Waldman, the app bypassed parental controls on her computer, allowing her 11-year-old to lose $120 trying to keep up with the Kardashians.
Waldman, who is married to fellow author Michael Chabon, had some choice words for the alliteration-friendly family:
Evil, vile Kardashian Hollywood tricked my 11 yr old into spending $120 in 2 days. He’s crying hysterically. Pox on those fuckers. — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
Let’s take a step back here. Is it really Kim Kardashian’s fault that Waldman’s 11-year-old son has access to A) credit card information and B) an unsupervised computer? Kim has created a game — ie. a commercial enterprise. People pay money to play. 11-year-olds make bad decisions. It’s usually the parent’s responsibility to prevent those poor judgment calls, no?
As Leah Finnegan at Gawker eloquently put it:
Hmmm. Who is really at fault here? The “vile scumbag Kardashian pigs and their app designers” for creating a fun game? Waldman’s poor, weeping son who evidently does not understand the value of a dollar? The mysterious person who linked her son’s Apple account to a credit card?
In Waldman’s defense, she does make clear that parental controls were in place on the computer used by her son (also, who knew that Michael Chabon was some sort of tech wiz?)
My husband is incredibly sophisticated on Macs. Was sure he'd blocked in-app purchases. Just by chance we noticed our son's account. — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
Waldman later posted that Apple had agreed to refund all the unauthorized purchases, but that she was deleting her credit card information from her son’s account, just in case. Probably a wise choice — an equally good option would be teaching her son about when to use a credit card.
We'd set up what we thought were restricted allowances, but bc there was a card attached, I'm now funding Kim Kardashian's lip gloss. — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
We are removing all credit card information for our children's itunes accounts, and I highly recommend you do the same. — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
So far Apple is refunding the charges!!! One by one. So far 3 refunded. Out of 12. — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
THANK YOU APPLE! They're refunding the charges one at a time. PHEW. Abe is drying his tears. Cursing the Kardashians. #lifelesson — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
At least there’s a silver lining: one less fan for the Kardashians:
Abe, age 11: Sobbing. “I hate those goddamn Kardashians.” Also? “I thought I was smarter than this.” — Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) August 4, 2014
“If you focus all of your emotional passion on your children and you neglect the relationship that brought that family into existence… eventually, things can go really, really wrong,” she said on August 1.