Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner threw a Gilead-themed birthday party for her best friend Stassie Karanikolaou, complete with red hooded capes and phrases from the Hulu show based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The internet immediately exploded with intense criticism of the theme. Atwood herself has finally had a chance to weigh in on the controversy while speaking with New York magazine’s Vulture.
Atwood said that she wasn’t sure who Jenner was and had to look her up on the internet when she first heard about the controversy. The author had a measured response to the news, however, revealing that she has dealt with similar situations in the past.
“My readers deal with those things. They notice them before I do. I expect that Kylie Jenner heard from some of them along the lines of ‘We appreciate the thought, but you kind of missed it,'” said Atwood.
That’s a nice way of putting it. As Vox reported at the time, critics called the party everything from “tone deaf” to offensive. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Bradley Whitford, who played Commander Joseph Lawrence on the show, called the party “tacky” and suggested that Jenner could have come up with a different theme for her party, which included drinks styled with the names “under his eye” and “praise be” from the book and show.
Atwood said that this isn’t the first time people have tried to connect with the book while missing the message that she was trying to convey.
“There were some themed tequila. People often do this in a very well-meaning way; they’re not trying to be unpleasant,” she said.
The author said she has often received items that don’t necessarily capture the book’s spirit and that she isn’t against them. She says that she has received LEGO handmaid figures, knitted chickens for a spoof called “The Henmaid Tale,” and handmaid-themed embroidery. She said she even appreciates people who are writing the military history of the book because it’s not something she is interested in doing.
“It has been the occasion when I’ve been speaking somewhere and I will be greeted with Handmaid’s Tale cupcakes because the person doing the catering is such a fan. Will I turn up my nose at such cupcakes? No, I will not. I will not do that,” she said.
When asked if she would eat the cupcakes, she joked that it depends on whether on not she is eating much sugar at the moment.