“Khloe and Lamar informed millions in America and worldwide about the Armenian Genocide yesterday, and the Genocide Education Project was glad to help,” said GenEd Executive Director Raffi Momjian. “Sadly the failure of the international community to either prevent or punish the Armenian Genocide set a dangerous precedent that paved the way for the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, and most recently Darfur. The more the public learns about these atrocities and stands up to their ongoing denial, the sooner we will see governments worldwide taking real, decisive action to end forever the cycle of genocide.”
The discussion of the Armenian Genocide focused on whether Khloe Kardashian’s husband, NBA Star Lamar Odom, would play basketball in Turkey, a particularly sensitive point given the Kardashian family’s pride in their Armenian heritage, and Turkey’s legacy as an unrepentant perpetrator of a genocide against the Armenian people. In the end, Odom continued to play in the NBA, with the end of the NBA “lockout” on Dec. 8, 2011.
E! Network producers reached out to the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) after seeing film footage and photography from an educational video prepared by Varadian and GenEd Education Director Sara Cohan as part of a human rights curriculum project funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. The documentary featured photos of AYF-organized protests in New York and Washington, D.C. taken by Kaladjian, as well as photography and video taken by Varadian in Armenia.
“We really appreciate the show’s interest in learning more about the efforts of young Armenians to raise public awareness of the Armenian Genocide, and are very excited by the fact that this weekend millions of people around the world–many for the first time–learned about our work for a truthful and just resolution of this terrible crime,” said Varadian and Kaladjian, in joint remarks.
“The AYF has been at the forefront of demanding justice for the Armenian Genocide through protest and politics for over 50 years,” said AYF Eastern U.S. Central Executive member Yervant Kachichian. “Khloe and Lamar took that message viral this weekend, dealing a powerful blow against genocide denial.”
It should be noted that at the very beginning of the show, in what sounded like a “disclaimer,” the Armenian Genocide was characterized as a controversy and was framed with a “Turks say, Armenians say” approach–essentially reducing it to a disagreement over history between Turks and Armenians.
There was no mention that the Armenian Genocide is accepted by historians worldwide as a historical fact.