‘Shark Tank:’ This Shark Was Once Fired By Khloé Kardashian

ABC’s hit show Shark Tank is well into its 11th season with a following of fans in the millions. The main panel of wealthy investors – Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary – have added ‘celebrity’ to their credit due to the program’s mammoth popularity.

With the success story each shark brings to the show, it’s hard to fathom that one of them was fired by a member of the infamous Kardashian family.

Khloe Kardashian | Michael Tullberg/WireImage

Fashion icon to reality star

FUBU founder Daymond John was one of the first millionaire entrepreneurs on the list to be recruited for Shark Tank. John was skeptical of the premise at first and wanted to know who else would be sitting on the panel.

“I believe it was our executive producer, Clint Newbill. He said they were calling from Mark Burnett’s office,” John told Innovation & Tech Today last year. “We got on a Skype call in our conference room, and it was the producers of Shark Tank on one side and myself and three of my executives on the other. They told me about the show’s idea. I asked, ‘Who else is going to be on the show?’ and they said, ‘Well, you know, we can’t take everybody, but one of them is Mark Cuban.’ I almost fell out of my chair laughing. ‘I can’t believe you Hollywood guys,’ I told them.”

Though the fashion guru was hesitant to dip his toe in the tank after hearing he would have to pay for his own flight to be interviewed, he eventually relented due to the big names backing the show. “First of all, it was Mark Burnett. Second, it was shot by Sony and ABC. The brands don’t get any bigger than that,” John said. “I had to go to L.A. anyway, so we shot the pilot, and the pilot got picked up right away.”

Clothing the Kardashians

When the now infamous reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians premiered on E! in 2007, John was brought on the team to manage product placement on the show, according to CNBC. The FUBU founder was responsible for selecting brands for the Kardashian family to wear or talk about on the air to give those brands publicity and exposure.

At the time, the Kardashians were just starting out as entrepreneurs in the fashion space and were not yet a household name, so not many brands were on board. “Nobody would do it; they didn’t believe in these girls,” the Shark Tank star revealed, adding that he would frequently have to pay for his own brands, such as FUBU or Coogi, to be featured on the show since no other companies were willing to take the risk.

Part of the reality gig included John making some appearances on the show, yet a conflict arose when Shark Tank came calling.

Had to ‘keep up’ or swim

The ABC reality show started development around the time of the country’s recession, where John saw a great investment opportunity. “I had 10 clothing companies, eight of them weren’t doing well because nobody’s buying clothing; they can’t pay the mortgage,” John said in 2016. “So, I said to myself, ‘I’m only getting pitched clothing companies. I need to get pitched other things.’”

Yet due to his involvement with Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E!, ABC told John he had to choose between networks. “ABC said, ‘You can’t do any other show but ours,’” he shared.

Khloé Kardashian caught wind of the glitch and wanted to help John out. “She basically fired me from the show,” the FUBU creator revealed, saying she let him go so he would be free to join Shark Tank. “She said she would never get in my way.”

Both Shark Tank and KUWTK have gone on to massive success, and John still has a solid relationship with the Kardashians. “You always had the respect from me and you always had the ability to see things others couldn’t!” Khloé tweeted to John after he shared the story of their working relationship. “Now… everyone sees keep on shining only love over here.”

To this day, John speaks highly of the family. “Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they are a force to be reckoned with and care deeply for the people they love,” he tweeted earlier this month.