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'The City': Erin Kaplan defends Joe and Roxy, but Olivia? Not so much (with exclusive video)

Erin_000622 In the interest of full disclosure: I love watching Erin Kaplan on “The City." That has nothing to do with her saying that she reads only two blogs on the show and this is one of them (but it doesn't hurt). I really do think she’s smart, hard working, and she’s not afraid of confrontation. In short, she's good TV.

Like “The City’s” lead, Whitney Port, Kaplan was originally a Cali girl. She grew up in Newport Beach and moved to New York City for college. In the last four years, she has risen from a marketing assistant at Elle to the magazine’s youngest director of public relations. This year, she has a new challenge: Convert Olivia Palermo from society girl to working girl.

“I think that me and Olivia are complete opposites in every possible way,” says Kaplan, 26. “In our work life, in our personal life, we’re complete opposites.”

On a balmy afternoon in New York City, Kaplan took a break from work to explain why Olivia doesn’t impress her, what she thinks of the other cast members, and what to expect from “The City.”

Let’s talk about Olivia.
Great [laughing].

What was her first mistake?
I think that when you start anywhere you kind of want to embrace the people around you. When I was new, I wanted to get to know everyone in every department. I felt like she was focused on accessories and that was it. That’s not really how it is at a magazine or anywhere.

Despite her stint at Diane von Furstenberg, she doesn’t seem to have the goods to be a contributing editor at Elle. Why did Joe Zee hire her?
Well, I think Olivia has great personal style. He thought she could bring some of how she styled to the magazine. He obviously thought she was talented and had a good eye, so I think that’s why he offered her the job.

On the first two episodes, Olivia didn’t push hard enough on her projects. You noticed that, but Joe didn’t.

In Joe’s defense, on the first episode he didn’t have too much involvement. Anne Slowey did the "Today"  show segment. He really wasn’t there. He didn’t get to see what happened in the accessories closet that day, and what happened at the show and after the show. On the second episode he was involved, but not to the extent that I was. I feel like I had to be his eyes and ears. He wasn’t around Olivia as much as I was. I wanted to fill him in on what was happening.

I’ve been pretty hard on Joe in my posts, but I have to admit I get a sadistic pleasure watching you fume when he’s complimenting Olivia. What’s going through your mind in those moments?
It’s hard. Obviously, Olivia and I don’t get along. I think at the end of the day if she does well, it’s going to benefit the magazine. Honestly, I would never wish for her to come back and fail, because that’s, one, more work for everyone else, and, two, it doesn’t make her look great and that represents the magazine, which reflects on everybody.

It’s clear there’s no love lost between you and Olivia. What can we expect going forward?
[Laughs] Well, you can definitely expect more conflicts. We go to Miami, which is interesting.  I haven’t seen the episode, so I don’t know how they’re going to show it. We definitely have our ups and downs.

Last week, we saw Whitney start dating again. What do you think - Jay or Freddie?
I think they’re two completely opposite guys. I adore Whitney and she’s going to make the right decision. She’s very level-headed. She knows exactly what she wants. I’m kind of rooting for Freddie, though.

I’ve heard you say that you love Roxy?
I do. I really like Roxy. I think she’s very funny. She’s very self-deprecating. I met her long before the show. I definitely think she’s a good girl. She’s fun to be around. Yeah, I’m a fan of Roxy’s.

After watching her work at People’s Revolution, what if she and Olivia switched places? Would you mind working with her?
Oh my god. Um [laughing]. I would embrace working with Roxy. I think that Roxy is open to working with different types of people.

[In this week’s episode], we did work together. I asked Roxy to help me out and she was game. Both Whitney and Roxy did everything that I asked. They had a great attitude. They both wanted to do what was best for the event that night. Yeah, absolutely I would like to work with Roxy.

How did Olivia do at that same event? Check out this exclusive Show Tracker video from this week's episode:

And, if you’re in NYC and want to meet Erin and Roxy in person, they’ll be hosting an in-store event at the Express at 7 W. 34th St. on Nov. 19.

-- Jethro Nededog (Follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)


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Photo: Erin Kaplan makes for good TV on “The City.” Credit: MTV

Video: Erin Kaplan and Roxy Olin do some "Olivia-bashing." Credit: MTV

Comments () | Archives (19)

Just what we need more stupid, ignorant, stuck up B#@$%S.

The youth of today who follow these type of entertainment are nothing more than McDonaldland manufactured ghetto zommies.

Such a sad reflection of modern american society at it's worst.

James Garcia
Los Angeles

excuse me, i am a smart, successful, independent young lady who watches the show. please do not attack and question my intelligence simply because i tune in. your words are deeply offensive.

Jealous of these ladies James?

I just so happen to be a youth that follows this type of entertainment (including The Hills and Gossip Girl) and not only can I compose a sentence that is grammatically correct, unlike yourself, but I am also a recent university graduate that holds a bachelors degree in Business Admin. Sorry, I’m not a "McDonaldland manufactured ghetto zommies".

Whatever that might be?

Oh and BTW, one might argue that YOU follow this type of entertainment if you took the time to click this post and made such a comment…

nice job TC...can't wait to watch tonight! the hills and the city...all in one sitting!

"When I was new, I wanted to get to know everyone in every department. I felt like she was focused on accessories and that was it."

What is so wrong about focusing on the job rather than the people? Newsflash Erin: You are paid to do the job you are hired for, not to socialize.

Such a boring interview. "I hate Olivia because we're opposites and love working with Roxy and Whitney because they do whatever I say." If we're assuming the show accurately represents reality, which the author of this post seems to do, Roxy looks like an idiot/ terror to work with despite being fun to watch, and Whitney seems completely passive. Erin loves to hate Olivia because she's rich and pretty (hence automatically entitled and lazy, right?) but we're supposed to believe Erin busted her hump after her humble beginnings in Newport -- beautiful, wealthy beach city in Orange County -- California?

Erin might work hard, but she looks catty and kind of pathetic on the show. She lectures Olivia over nothing (most recently her "attitude" when all Olivia did was ask a question) and disliked her the moment she met her, as demonstrated by some quip about "Oh so you've never actually worked for a magazine before (read: and hence don't deserve this job)?"

Olivia is pulling purses, not writing 5,000-word features or making editorial decisions. She's a glorified stylist, and magazine experience seems pretty irrelevant at that point. Working for a major fashion house seems much more likely to give someone "the goods" to work as an ACCESSORIES editor -- no actual writing or editing involved -- than actual magazine experience. Erin just comes across as an insecure... well, I can't use that word here.

We have to keep in mind that all the "cattiness" and "smirks" that come from Erin are carefully crafted from the people that edit the show to create an interesting, drama-filled narrative. If you look closely, you can see them recycling Erin's smirks to insert them strategically to animosity towards Olivia. The smirks and eye-rollings can be cut out from anything out of context and pasted where the editors see the best narrative. What can not be taken out of context is Olivia's constant complaints about what is in her job description, and what isn't. Her constant protests about "that's not my job, that's your job" demonstrate clearly that she is in fact lazy, and feels some sort of entitlement to her position. Pure, unadulterated entitlement. Olivia wants to do her narrow job description, and that's it.

I can understand Erin's frustrations, because I'm guessing that she didn't operate just within her job description in order to be promoted to such a high position at her age. She obviously had to go above and beyond, and it must feel terrible to watch a girl land a job based on her fame and social status. You don't get places by JUST doing your job, you get places by building relationships and working above the job description.

And yes, Erin may come from a nice part of California, but she wasn't handed the job like Olivia was. She worked up the ranks; likely from producing exceptional work--not skating by with mediocre work like Olivia is. Olivia is being praised for absolute mediocrity by Joe, and Erin is probably jealous of that, and all the crap she gives Olivia is probably her way of restoring balance. The most adult thing to do? Probably not. The more entertaining thing for us? Definitely. I'm hoping Olivia keeps up with her attitude and Erin keeps calling her out, for the sake of good TV at least.

Ann, you also have to keep in mind that Olivia's persona is edited in the show as well. You make all these assumptions about her, and yet you don't know her! The same goes for Erin. You have written Erin's life story without actually knowing her as well.

"What can not be taken out of context is Olivia's constant complaints about what is in her job description, and what isn't."
Really? Why? Because MTV can easily edit that as well. You have clearly pointed out the network's craftmanship. So you are saying that we can blame editing for Erin's character but we cannot use that defense for other members of the cast that you do not like? Very rational indeed... (note the sarcasm here)

By the way, Olivia has build relationships. Otherwise, she wouldn't be considered a socialite.

So over with Erin's jealousy. She needs something called "confidence!"

Erin is the best thing to happen to this show! Olivia is a spoiled brat that has never had to work hard for anything in her life! She has a rare opportunity to work closely with someone who is EXTREMELY knowledgeable, hard working, and experienced and instead of using that to her advantage and learning from it she's choosing to stick her nose in the air.

And yeah ... "Cub Reporter" I believe Erin did "bust her hump" to get where she is!

Olivia may be a socialite but she cannot do a single task right on the show. I don't know about anyone elses work experience, but if one person doesn't do their job right, someone else will.

For the sake of TV, Erin is confident, smart and doesn't take anything less than what is best for Elle... despite Joe Zee and MTV, Olivia is not a right fit at the magazine and Erin knows it.

You don't need Erin's life story, you can clearly see by the show that she's a hard working, intelligent, stylish and the youngest PR director in Elle's history. The youth today should strive to have her kind of ambition and work ethic.

Dear MTV Creator- Axe Olivia already! She's a stuck up, pathetic, unmotivated moron... so over watching her! Get a new person to add flair to your show, not bring it down.

I love Erin. She's smart, ambitious and a real go getter and I can't believe she's 26 but the director of PR for Elle! That's really impressive. I give her a lot of credit for having to deal with Olivia and not smack her, I don't think I could show such restraint, lol. For the person below who said, what's wrong w/wanting to do their job (Olivia) and not socialize: ummmm have you been watching the show? Olivia does not do her job! She throws around names of people she knows and has the gall to tell Erin if she doesn't like what she did (ahem, her job!) that Erin can do it herself! Hello attitude problem. Olivia is obnoxious and I wish Joe would open his eyes and see this girl is not a winner! GO ERIN!!!

To everyone above: Last time I checked, a "reality" show is not a good tool to measure one's work performance. Do you guys seriously think watching a few minutes of their lives is a good source of judgment?? How do you know Olivia is doing a bad job? Because MTV airs it? We all know the show is scripted. They take situations out of context. How do you know Erin is doing a great job? You guys act like you're at the offices knowing exactly what's going on behind the scenes. Obviously you don't.

Why does Erin act like she's Olivia's boss when she's not? I hate that about her. She's very smug about it too.

To Jess on October 29, 2009 at 03:16 PM, Erin IS Olivia's boss. Have you not been watching? Anyways, was quite surprised to see so many negative remarks about Erin. I think she's fantastic and quite frankly, the only reason I watch the show. Different than season 1, I like this season actually better. I think more women need to take heed on what kind of person and worker Erin is. To have her position at her age is such a great feat and that stands for something. I think she's great and believe Jethro conducted a fantastic interview and asked all the right questions!

Erin is an embarrassment to women in business, and to Elle magazine. It amazes me that the magazine continues to employ her in a PR role, taking into consideration her behavior on “The Hills”. Erin is jealous, petty and disrespectful. She is trying to sabotage Olivia, and her tactics are appalling.

Erin is obviously insecure about her own lack of breeding. Did you see the last episode? Erin twisted chunks of bread at the dinner table like a savage. Then, she proceeded to burden the musicians she met just 5 minutes before with her own personal baggage instead of engaging them in the art of conversation. Very poor dinner etiquette. For her position at Elle, Erin should have training on how to gracefully represent the company in social situations. As Rachel Roy told Olivia, people without refinement and elegance eventually fall to the wayside.
Unfortunately, with the aggressive way she represents herself, Erin comes off like a catty beach blond from the OC. She reminds me of one of those constantly bickering/complaining Real Housewives of Orange County.
Erin's way out of her element when coping with the Manhattan social scene and knows it- hence she takes her insecurity out on Olivia, who is a confident young member of that world.
You can take the girl out of the OC, but you can't take the OC out of the girl, in Erin's case.

I was very underwhelmed by Olivia Palermo and was shocked by her lack of professionalism in her performance in her position at Elle. In business, there are what I like to call, the top ten percenters: the top 10% that end up doing 90% of the work and outperforming 90% of their peers. You don't necessarily need to be the smartest or have the best connections to be in this category...to be in this category you need to go above and beyond. From day one, it seemed that Olivia expected to just slide by. I can see why Erin was frustrated by her. She has worked very hard to get where she is and it was obvious that Olivia was not willing to put forth that effort and just expected things to be handed to her. She is a beautiful girl and I do think that she does have some strong business qualities. With a little bit of effort, she could go far. Effort is key for her. Erin, hang in there. The top 10 percenter club feels your pain, acknowledges your membership, and looks forward to seeing great things from you. Best wishes for much success!

I hate to say it but Erin Kaplan who arrived to the 2nd season of the
CITY. Is trying to enter the spot light and be just like Heidi Montag.
Watch and you will see, She comes off catty, and her personality is
hard at best to deal with. She acts like she is from a middle class
family in the mid west or something. Far from that, and she so
jealous of Olivia its pathetic. And this writer is in delusional Erin
and how much she really is edited to appear and act on Camera its
so pathetic. I wish they would get rid of her (ERIN) but I know
that will never happen MTV wants drama and will keep her along
as much as they can. I hope Joe Zee has sense enough to keep
Olivia around as long as he can and not put up with the crap Erin
pulls. And actually watch and episode atleast to see how fake she
really is. I don't what is worse her or the people on the HILLS...


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