The Kardashians are never short on surprises, and yet last week’s news that Tristan Thompson had reportedly been caught cheating on Khloé Kardashian with Jordyn Woods, aka Kylie Jenner’s BFF, almost seemed unbelievable. Not the part about Thompson (this would be the same Tristan Thompson who was also caught cheating on Khloé Kardashian when she was in the middle of giving birth to their now one-year-old daughter, True Thompson, last year), but the fact that his alleged paramour this time was one of the Kardashians’ closest friends.
Not even Khloé has been able to deny that Thompson is, in her words, “a complete piece of shit”. And yet somehow, the most recent twist in this saga has cast 21-year-old Woods as the major villain, to the point of almost essentially cutting Thompson out of the narrative altogether.
With the blame passed on to Woods, it didn’t take long for the telltale signs of a Kardashian inner-circle breakup to emerge—the first of which was them unfollowing the accused party on Instagram en masse. (For the Kardashians, it’s the symbolic equivalent of cutting someone out of your life.) So, for the second time in less than a year, Kim unfollowed Thompson for his alleged infidelity. This time, though, she also unfollowed Woods—as did Khloé and Kendall Jenner.
Kylie Jenner has also unfollowed Thompson, but has yet to do the same for her (former?) BFF. She did, however, mark down the price of her collaboration with Woods on a Kylie Cosmetics lip kit—which, by the way, promptly sold out. (Though that wasn’t enough to convince Khloé not to take down Woods’s model page on the website of her denim brand, Good American.) All of which is, well, understandable; if the reports are true, Khloé—and, by extension, her family members—has every right to be upset with Woods. But does an entire slice of the internet and celebrity-driven media who have cast Woods as their new villain of the week have that same right?
All that brings us to the sole voice of reason regarding the scandal that emerged on Tuesday. Normally, when Lena Dunham wades into a controversy, it only means things are about to get worse—not necessarily because of her viewpoint, but because no matter what it is, the backlash is almost bound to be unbearable. And yet, Dunham was somehow the first to raise a question that’s so far largely been ignored: Are we really going to take all of this out on a 21-year-old—and let Tristan Thompson slide?
Technically, her question was actually, “Can you imagine if who you’d made out with when you were 21 had massive public shaming consequences?,” but it expressed a similar sentiment—even if followed up by an inconsequential thread recalling how she once kissed her friend’s crush while wearing a dog leash. With that out of her system, she got back to being levelheaded; in response to a Twitter user who accused her of coming for the Kardashians, she wrote: “I’m not coming for the K’s! I love and respect them. It’s just A LOT of media attention on a very young girl’s sexual choices and my heart aches when I see that.”
The Kardashians may eventually forgive Woods in time; for the few who do make it into their inner circle, occasional banishment is practically a contractual obligation—even for Caitlyn Jenner. All things considered, this latest scandal has actually been pretty much business as usual for the family.
Indeed, before we know it, it stands to reason that Kylie will soon have her BFF back, and Khloé, who appears to have broken up with Thompson once and for all, will have found someone who treats her with at least a modicum of respect. Hopefully, the same goes for Woods—if you replace “someone” with “the public.”