Marie Kondo in her series,
Marie Kondo in her series, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." Picture: Denise Crew/Netflix via AP

Backlash over ‘racist’ Marie Kondo tweets

A PROMINENT US political activist and author is sparking anything but joy after she made racist remarks about Marie Kondo.

Barbara Ehrenreich, a 77-year-old author, is under fire after tweeting: "I will be convinced that America is not in decline only when our de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo learns to speak English."

Kondo, 34, became affectionately known as the decluttering guru after the publication of her organisational guide, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But she shot to international and viral fame after the release of her eponymous Netflix show.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is on Netflix now.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is on Netflix now.


Whether you love it or hate it, Kondo's minimalist KonMari method of tidying - centred around only keeping things that are functional or truly "spark joy" in your life - has become a social phenomenon.

But Ehrenreich's post about the decluttering guru went too far.

"It says a LOT about our current moment when basically anyone could come out saying super racist sh*t and it seems plausible they've been thinking it all along," writer Celeste Ng tweeted.

Ehrenreich deleted her original tweet, but in a follow-up post, she doubled down on her remarks in a bizarre attempt to justify them.


"It's OK with me that (Kondo) doesn't speak English to her huge American audience but it does suggest that America is in decline as a superpower," she tweeted.

Her non-apology only stoked further outrage online.

"Jesus Christ," wrote author Roxane Gay.

"The casual and maybe involuntary xenophobia that seems to frame this tweet is painful to read," tweeted writer Jeff Yang.

Ehrenreich eventually took her chances with another apology, saying her original intent was a bad joke gone awry.


Author Barbara Ehrenreich. Picture: Reed Young
Author Barbara Ehrenreich. Picture: Reed Young


"Sorry to anyone offended by my tweet about Marie Kondo!" Ehrenreich wrote. "Sometimes my attempts at subtle humour just don't work."

Ehrenreich is known as a social justice activist. Her 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed, was about the plight of low-income Americans.


This article originally appeared on The New York Post and was reproduced with permission