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Kim Kardashian Was Accused of Lobbing Homophobic Insult at Male Model

She was slammed for her response to Tyson Beckford.

Kim Kardashian is no stranger to controversy, but the reality TV star found herself accused of homophobia following a back-and-forth Instagram spat with male supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford. In 2018, after Beckford posted some disparaging comments about Kardashian's body on social media, she fired back with a retort that some took issue with. Read to find out what she said and why some followers thought her insult was homophobic.

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Beckford criticized Kardashian's outfit and body on Instagram.

Kim Kardashian arriving at Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2018
BG017/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

In 2018, in late July, Instagram user @amiradyme posted a since-deleted photo of Kardashian ahead of the reality star's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! In the picture, the reality star is wearing black, formfitting velvet pants and a revealing asymmetrical top.

"Sorry I don't care for it," Beckford commented, as reported by the Daily Mail. In another comment, he added, "She is not real, doctor [expletive] up on her right hip."

The popular Instagram gossip account The Shade Room reposted the picture and Beckford's comments on July 31.

"#Kanye bout to #cash #TysonBeckford #ousside," the caption read, implying that Kardashian's then-husband Kanye West would be offended at this slight against his wife.

RELATED: Kim Kardashian Reveals the Message Her Late Father Sent Through a Medium.

Kardashian was slammed for her response.

Kim Kardashian in 2018
Walter McBride/WireImage

Later that same day, Kardashian responded on The Shade Room's post.

"Sis we all know why you don't care for it," she wrote, along with a series of emojis evoking the Kermit drinking tea meme.

The explicitly shady clapback was soon met with backlash, because many interpreted Kardashian's remark to mean that Beckford didn't appreciate her body because he's secretly gay. She was slammed online for making a homophobic insult.

As reported by Teen Vogue, some X (formerly Twitter) users also accused the Kardashians star of appropriating African American English (AAE) in her reply to the model.

Beckford addressed the speculation.

Tyson Beckford in 2018
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Beckford denied Kardashian's implication while also touting his support of the LGBTQ+ community.

In a since-deleted Instagram post that same week, he offered his response. Per USA Today, he shared a photo of himself shirtless taken in a gym mirror with the caption, "Train 5-6 days a wk, weights Martial Arts and Firearms and I defend those who can't defend themselves! I support LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈, even though I'm not Gay. It's just the Human thing to do."

For her part, Kardashian defended herself in a radio interview.

"For anyone to say that I am homophobic with the comment of saying 'sis'? All my best friends are gay," she said on Big Boy 92.3. "I support the community. I love the community. They love me. That has nothing to do with this."

She also said that the model was body shaming her with his comment.

"Really, dude? Like, you're going to body-shame me?" she said. "Like, OK. OK. OK, sis. You're going to body-shame me?"

Somewhat hilariously, when TMZ asked Kris Jenner to comment on the matter, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians matriarch's response was simply "Who's Tyson?"

RELATED: Oprah Winfrey Breaks Silence on Rumors of Taraji P. Henson Feud.

Beckford revealed a new element of the feud years later.

Tyson Beckford in 2023
Jason Mendez/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Beckford revisited the spat in 2021 and added some new context. He claimed that on VLADTV that he and Kardashian had actually dated "for a weekend" long before their Instagram fight.

"It was so weird that she called me gay, I was like sweetheart, you must have forgot," he said.

As reported by Page Six, the model also said that West sent one of his entourage to confront him when they ended up at the same event after the incident but he wasn't intimidated. The rapper implied in a subsequent Instagram video that Beckford was afraid to speak to him, while Beckford said the opposite was true.

"I'm like, 'You did not want no smoke. I had on my tuxedo. I would have undone my tie and got into it if you wanted to, but you didn't. I think you didn't realize how big I was,'" he said on VLADTV.

The now-53-year-old claimed that Kardashian's insult has had staying power, in that people will still accuse him of being gay as an insult.

"Sometimes I'll get a couple suckers on Instagram who will try to say like, 'Oh, yeah. You gay,'" Beckford said. "Then I'm like 'Where is this coming from?' You heard it from that [expletive]?'"


James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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