Kylie Jenner and Tyga Are the Latest Targets of Celebrity Drought Shaming

August 31st 2015

Kyle Jaeger

In one of the latest developments to come out of the drought shaming movement, documents obtained by the Hollywood Reporter show that Kylie Jenner and hip-hop artist Tyga (whose real name is Michael Stevenson) were both cited for wasting water at their Los Angeles-area mansions in June.

Jenner was caught violating state mandates restricting water use, which went into effect in April. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last year following a prolonged drought that has left the state's reservoirs dangerously low. But that has not stopped the 18-year-old from maintaining a lush lawn at her $2.7 million, 5,000-square-foot Mediterranean mansion in the affluent, Southern California community of Calabasas, as Page Six reported.

She has been ticketed twice for violating state and county mandates that were imposed earlier this year to dissuade Californians from wasting this increasingly precious resource. Brown called for a 25 percent reduction in urban water use beginning in June, with an overall reduction goal of 36 percent for water-guzzling cities such as Beverly Hills.

But the $100 fine has apparently failed to ward off hundreds of water wasters in Calabasas, which issued 203 citations in the month of June alone, around the time that the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District brought on a private security firm in an effort to more effectively identify and penalize violators.

Jenner's sisters—Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian—have also found themselves caught up in drought shaming scandals after Page Six flew over their Calabasas estates and snapped photos of their "oases of lush grass and full swimming pools in brown shrubland."

Kim Kardashian Drought Shame

Khloe Kardashian Drought Shame

Kourtney Kardashian Drought Shame

When pressed for a comment, Ina Treciokas, spokesperson for Kim Kardashian, called the report "boring and stupid."

"I don't think ­celebrity water usage is making a dent in the fight against the drought," Treciokas added.

But it is not necessarily about the individual impact of wasting water that matters, says Tony Corcoran, who has led the drought shaming charge in California, posting hundreds of photos and videos exposing water waste on his social media accounts. Rather, it is about how the public perceives these individuals. And considering the enormous scope of influence that the Kardashian-Jenner family has, it is especially important for them to take the drought seriously.

"At this point, if you don’t know that we’re in a drastic drought, there’s something wrong with you," Corcoran told NBC4. "If they don't care, why should I?"

The story about Kylie and Tyga's water citations are two of the most recent examples of celebrity drought shaming, but they are by no means alone in their water wasting habits. NBC4 also reported that David Hasselhoff, Dr. Dre, and NBA All-Star Paul Pierce have each been cited this year. Photos of luxuriant, celebrity lawns—including those of Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Cher, and Will Smith—have also circulated online, often marked by the hashtag, #DroughtShaming, on Twitter and Instagram.

For better or worse, high-profile figures in Hollywood seem to be best positioned to affect change in Southern California and act as leaders in water conservation. Though some celebrities might appear indifferent to the drought, there are also many examples of these individuals taking positive action toward reducing water use. After publisher and businessman Hugh Hefner was outed for violating water restrictions in Beverly Hills, he went so far as to install artificial grass around the perimeter of his expansive Playboy Mansion.

NBC4 has been one of the most active news organization covering the drought in Southern California, reporting on violations and even flying over the homes of wealthy neighborhoods to spot lush lawns amid the sun-scorched terrain of Los Angeles. There is a method behind this drought shaming process beyond simply calling celebrities out, however.

"Our station has had a long commitment to covering the drought and this story is a part of that ongoing comprehensive coverage," Jenna Susko, an investigative reporter at NBC4 told ATTN:. "Everyone in California is being asked to do their part and conserve water. The public has a right to know who is violating water regulations, including celebrities."