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Tom Petty Criticizes Kardashians for Promoting Wealth Obsession

Tom Petty and Kim Kardashian
Frederick M. Brown / Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

Feeling dissatisfied with your lot in life? Thinking you’re a loser because you don’t live in a mansion and drive a fancy car? Tom Petty thinks it might have something to do with that pesky Kardashian family.

During a recent interview with the U.K.’s Sun tabloid, Petty held up the Kardashians as examples of what’s wrong with American culture today, holding them responsible for the sort of vapid celebrity-driven ‘reality’ programming that has turned glorifying wealth for wealth’s sake into big ratings across the cable dial. “I’m old enough to have lived in a country where, if you were willing to work hard, you could have a fairly nice life. You could support a family and even get a shot at owning your home, but you never thought you’d get a swimming pool,” he argued. “Now the culture has hypnotized people into thinking they’re really nothing if they’re not wealthy and a Kardashian.”

Of course, this kind of thing isn’t exactly new — Petty has to be thoroughly familiar with ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,’ the syndicated show that got its start in 1984 and found host Robin Leach loudly fawning over a succession of stars’ abodes — but it isn’t hard to see where he’s coming from. And as he went on to point out, that kind of empty glitz is the antithesis of everything his music stands for.

“If I’m going to assume the point of view of the disenfranchised, there’s probably a lot of anger in there anyway,” he shrugged, accepting the interviewer’s description of his new album with the Heartbreakers, ‘Hypnotic Eye,’ as being full of the group’s classic “snarl.” “Snarl is actually a pretty good way to put it,” he nodded. “I can’t say I planned it, but I’m glad it came out that way.”

Next: Top 10 Tom Petty Rebel Songs

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