Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott rarely make appearances together, and then at last night’s Billboard Music Awards they walked the carpet as a family, with 4-year-old daughter, Stormi Webster tagging along. As cute as she was in her high-top sneakers, it felt like a moment fabricated by the Kardashian PR machine to add layers to the Travis Scott comeback story which officially started being written last night. (Sarah: I MEAN. YES.)
In the days leading up to the awards, host and producer, Diddy said he wanted to un-cancel the cancelled. Which is ridiculous because cancel culture doesn’t really exist — it’s an accountability culture where people are rarely banished. Diddy was speaking about 2 individuals when he made that statement. Morgan Wallen, who had video surface of him drunkenly calling his friend the n-word, leading to him being barred from a few awards shows and subsequently having his album spend 10 weeks at #1. That doesn’t sound cancelled to me. The other person Diddy was talking about was Travis Scott, who’s Astroworld Festival tragedy left 10 dead and hundreds injured, and he is booked to headline three stops for Primavera Sound later this year. Again, someone who wasn’t cancelled. I think people just wanted some accountability before he continued on with his life, while people lost theirs.
The BBMAs marked his first televised performance since the tragedy and when you have a comeback performance people are going to talk about what you’re coming back from — every headline brings the tragedy back into the conversation. So under the guise of this is a big night for Travis so he wants his family there with him, Stormi is really there to add a humanizing element to the story. A much needed element, because the whole controversy didn’t just revolve around the deaths at his festival and/or the lack of safety precautions in place to avoid what happened, it was also about how Travis allegedly appeared to continue his performances while fans pleaded for help. That’s oversimplified, but videos of him humming nonsense while fans climbed on top of speakers and scaffolding to signal for help are the opposite of humanizing.
With Stormi, we’re reminded that he’s a father. Not just a father, but maybe even the much fantasized about girl-dad. This is an artist who rarely smiles in public doing just that with his daughter on his hip. Those are the images they want circulating within the conversation about his comeback. People are obsessed with Kardashian-Jenner babies. His PR team, Kylie’s PR team, they all know the power in Stormi and how she can help soften his image coming out of the PR crisis of his career. This family knows the power of Instagram, but the dissemination of red carpet photos still holds a lot of power and they’re using it the best they can.