‘Khloe and Lamar’ Raise Public Awareness of Genocide

‘Armenian Genocide’ 10th Most-Searched Term on Google after Show Watched by 2.1 Million
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–The internet and social media were abuzz about the Armenian Genocide on Sun., March 11 after millions viewed the latest episode of the hit E! Network series “Khloe and Lamar,” which featured information about the Armenian Genocide from the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) and footage of Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) anti-denial protests by alumni Armen Varadian and Justin Kaladjian.

Khloe and Lamar
According to Google’s published statistics, the term “Armenian Genocide” was the 10th most-searched term on March 11, and continued at an impressive 16th most-searched term for most of Monday.  Over 2.1 million were reported to have watched the genocide episode, which was rated in the top-five most viewed shows in the 18-49 age category for that day.  Tweets by Khloe and her sister, Kim Kardashian, earlier in the day about the topic reached well over 13 million followers.

“Khloe and Lamar informed millions in America and worldwide about the Armenian Genocide yesterday, and the Genocide Education Project was glad to help,” said GenEd Executive Director Raffi Momjian.  “Sadly the failure of the international community to either prevent or punish the Armenian Genocide set a dangerous precedent that paved the way for the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, and most recently Darfur.  The more the public learns about these atrocities and stands up to their ongoing denial, the sooner we will see governments worldwide taking real, decisive action to end forever the cycle of genocide.”

The discussion of the Armenian Genocide focused on whether Khloe Kardashian’s husband, NBA Star Lamar Odom, would play basketball in Turkey, a particularly sensitive point given the Kardashian family’s pride in their Armenian heritage, and Turkey’s legacy as an unrepentant perpetrator of a genocide against the Armenian people.  In the end, Odom continued to play in the NBA, with the end of the NBA “lockout” on Dec. 8, 2011.

E! Network producers reached out to the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) after seeing film footage and photography from an educational video prepared by Varadian and GenEd Education Director Sara Cohan as part of a human rights curriculum project funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.  The documentary featured photos of AYF-organized protests in New York and Washington, D.C. taken by Kaladjian, as well as photography and video taken by Varadian in Armenia.

Screen shot of Google search term rankings on March 11, 2012

“We really appreciate the show’s interest in learning more about the efforts of young Armenians to raise public awareness of the Armenian Genocide, and are very excited by the fact that this weekend millions of people around the world–many for the first time–learned about our work for a truthful and just resolution of this terrible crime,” said Varadian and Kaladjian, in joint remarks.

“The AYF has been at the forefront of demanding justice for the Armenian Genocide through protest and politics for over 50 years,” said AYF Eastern U.S. Central Executive member Yervant Kachichian.  “Khloe and Lamar took that message viral this weekend, dealing a powerful blow against genocide denial.”

It should be noted that at the very beginning of the show, in what sounded like a “disclaimer,” the Armenian Genocide was characterized as a controversy and was framed with a “Turks say, Armenians say” approach–essentially reducing it to a disagreement over history between Turks and Armenians.

There was no mention that the Armenian Genocide is accepted by historians worldwide as a historical fact.


  1. In my view, the “disclaimer” on the show was an insignificant issue because it was framed in the context of the Turkish denial. Of course the Turkish official position is “controversial” because they deny what most of the world accepts. The real message is the power of the medium. In one 1/2 hour reality show, Khloe reached millions individuals who had either no previous knowledge or a limited understanding. The google hits confirms the interest for more knowledge.Very powerful. This is incremental support especially when you consider that the google searches on Genocide are self-initiated.
    The work our young and talented professionals, such as Varadian and Kaladjian is inspiring and perhaps opening new doors. Whatever you think of reality TV, let’s give the Kardashians our thanks. They did not have to do this and the message was clear… there was a genocide, it is denied by the Turks and she is proud of her heritage. Good for her and good for our people.

  2. Yes Stepan I agree with you. The message has gone out to millions and that is very important here. Khloe and Lamar achieved a great deal. After all, she is Armenian and it is indeed part of her own heritage. In the meantime, our cause is being heard to many that practically didn’t know of the Armenian Genocide.

  3. Has the Armenian government denounced Assads massacre? I wonder why not? and has it expressed concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

  4. One qualm I had with the show was that it was compared to Jewish descendants visiting Germany. But this is no comparison. Germany has publicly acknowledged what happened in its history, does so every year, and has also made reparations. The whole PROBLEM is that Turkey will not acknowledge its own history and remains in denial.

    That said, I’m glad the show raised awareness. But I do wish there were a mention that the International Association of Genocide Scholars has repeatedly recommended for many years (even in formal letters to the President) that it be officially recognized by the US and other governments.

  5. PS Note to Khloe — I worried about the prejudice she might really encounter had she gone to live there… But I enjoyed the show a lot, and the relationship between her and Lamar. (PS If there is ever a next time, Lamar should ask his agent about Greek teams!)

  6. Chris
    Why the irrelevant questions?
    Subject matter being Khloe and Lamar and their appearnce on nNational T.V.
    you suddenly divert us to Syria? Asad..
    and as though that diverstion was not enough …then Iran?
    Please keep to the subject matter.
    Read answers about your queries in Newsweek,Time ,etc., and keep abreast or watch T.V , daily News broadcasts……………..
    But if you wish to involve us here on above two issues of yours ,then start a new thread in that direction…

  7. i would like to suggest to all local activists to invite Armen Varadian and Justin Kaladjian to speak their communities about their experience with the Khloe show. I am sure they can comment about how he process works and the opportunity with this celebrity/reality medium. New audience, new medium, new opportunity.
    As we continue to chase the fox into the corner, we have new tools available.
    When Armenian celebrities take the time and show the determination to support our cause, we need to applaud their efforts and not focus on what they could have or should have done. Our job, assuming it’s reasonable and Khloe’s effort certainly was commendable, is to encourage continued and greater participation.

  8. We thank the Kardashian’s for bringing out the Armenian Genocide on TV. We hope they can also get Washington to change their position on the Genocide by not putting it to one side each year. Turkey is not the staunch Ally that everyone thinks. Nations around the world have recognized this well documented Genocide & shame on the U.S. & Israel for not recognizing it.

  9. I would bring to attn: There are TWO Subject matters or Threads, whatsever on the issue of Khloe & lamaar. One that is ¨raising awareness¨¨ ,the other ¨they discuss the Armenian Genocide:-
    I believe these two ought to be joined as ONE,as end of both is RAISE AWARENESS amongst General American Public(USA) ..
    And they did what they could in this respect. Millions watched for first time and heard word Armenian(yes for those who watch ¨¨the kardashians¨¨ are used to watch ordinary US matters,so to say. whereas all of a sudden …
    Armenians are mentioned and Khloe definitely claims her being of Armenian descent!!!Thus without funds invested in advertising -which is very expensive nowadays-this was made PUBLIC FREE OF CHARGE!!!
    That is a plus, a victory if you wish for Armenians who as yet are not to the idea that we should get together in PCA´s ¨¨Prof. Colleagues ASSoc.¨´ and then bring about THE NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND!!!
    please enter and read my 7/8 articles in …www.armeniannews.info…. top left corner click on Users articles..

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