North West in the Lion King (three split)


‘She’s realizing she’s not good’: The Internet reacts to North West’s ‘Lion King’ performance

The Kardashian-Yeezy collab had a rough outing at the Hollywood Bowl.


Mike Hadge

Pop Culture

It takes a public stumble by the 1% to truly unite us in the great circle of life. 

Speaking of life, those West kids have it made, man. When they’re not getting cyber truck birthday presents, they’re featuring at the dang Hollywood Bowl. 

Disney’s The Lion King celebrated its 30th anniversary this weekend at the Hollywood Bowl with a star-studded concert spectacular featuring the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Scar himself Jeremy Irons, Billy Eichner, Bradley Gibson, Jason Weaver (Young Simba’s singing voice) and OG Pumbaa and Timon, Ernie Sabella and Nathan Lane. Oh, also North West, who much like young Simba, “just can’t wait to [be] sing!”

North had prior stage experience, appearing with papa Kanye at some of his concerts, but this was her first main solo appearance. With both famous parents in attendance, as well as Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, and Travis Barker, North took the stage to sing Elton John and Tim Rice’s “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” 

It did not go well. 

Despite receiving a standing ovation (and why not?), North’s not what you might describe as a “singer,” which is absolutely fine. Her performance seemed like a normal twelve-year-old who won a contest, with some charmingly off-key note attempts that we’d all find endearing at a local middle school production.

However, since North’s a West, she’s been met with a wildebeest stampede of criticism. 

Bullying 12-year-olds, no matter their last name, is dumb and bad, in our opinion. However, as you might imagine, the Internet has wrung some solid bits out of the situation. 

@lejennymatthews so disappointed in this decision #northwest #nepobaby ♬ original sound – Jenny Matthews
@joeynoble I dont speak for the casting company, this is just MY experience. #theatre #musicals #film #gay ♬ original sound – Joeynoble

I know it’s a routine, but I really wish North had auditioned with “Animal Crackers In My Soup.” That’s some admirable respect for the classics. 

There’s also the matter of North’s “Simba” “costume,” which some have pointed out was very different from that of the other performers, whose outfits were all coordinated by designer Marina Toybina. 

@xanadudancer Kardashians had to have Northwest in Designer Costume not like rest of cast…WTF typical #capcut #northwestlionking #disney #lionking30thanniversary #lionkingbroadway #kimkardashian #fypツ ♬ original sound – Tony

For accuracy’s sake, Hudson and Irons were also not outfitted by Toybina.

However, since people are generally nuanced, there’s been genuine sympathy as well. 

@aaaaaaaaoniiii I feel bad for North #northwest #lionking #nepobaby #kimkardashian ♬ original sound – 💙Ani💙

“This is the first time she’s realizing she’s not good.” Yeah, I mean, girl’s 12. Give her a break.

The blame is more on Kim and Kanye (most likely: Kris) for pulling whatever strings were necessary to get the gig to happen and also on Disney for taking the bait. Comments indeed reflect that a good amount of folks do NOT blame North for this debacle. 

“The casting director needs to take heat. He could have said no. The Kardashians don’t run Disney,” said one commenter. “She was getting pulled around the entire performance cause she had no idea where to go,” said another.

“She looked so confused up there and had no idea what to do… it’s sad they let this happen,” another TikTok commenter lamented.

The real victim here? All the performers who did a great job at the show, as literally this is all anyone’s talking about now. Justice for Ernie Sabella!

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot