The June cover of Los Angeles features an illustration by artist Justin Metz that re-creates an iconic Coppertone ad, but instead of a toddler in pigtails, it stars a selfie-taking Kim Kardashian with her bikini bottoms being tugged by a manicured poodle. The cover line, “The Kardashians’ Last Laugh,” which teased a cover story by Benjamin Svetkey (formerly senior editor for The Hollywood Reporter and now a freelance writer and editor), was timed to the series finale of E!’s culture-shifting Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Not everyone is amused by the peek at Kim’s bare bottom, even if it is illustrated. A source sent Rambling Reporter a photo of the magazine racks inside a Gelson’s Market in the Valley Village neighborhood of Los Angeles where staffers placed a piece of cardboard over the bottom half of the magazine to conceal Kardashian’s derriere, similar to what some stores do to censor pornography magazines.
A Gelson’s spokesperson confirmed the butt ban and said it came after “a lot of complaints” from local customers in the Valley Village location. “The objective is to serve their customers so, after numerous complaints and concerns, their response was to cover it up,” the rep said, adding that the mag stayed on shelves and no other locations are known to have fielded such a reaction.
The cartoonish cover getting censored by a local supermarket may be amusing to the newly single Kardashian’s 227 million followers on Instagram, where she’s known to post much more revealing shots.
“It was supposed to be a fun, summery tip-of-the-hat to the famous Coppertone ad,” explains Los Angeles magazine editor-in-chief Maer Roshan. “We get that Gelson’s responsibility is to customers, but I can’t help but wonder what it is about Valley Village, in particular, that finds Kim Kardashian so unappetizing? Of all the places in the world, why Valley Village?”
A version of this story first appeared in the June 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.