Khloe Kardashian labelled 'out of touch' after defending sister Kim's private island birthday party

Khloe Kardashian has sparked backlash online after she defended her sister Kim's exorbitant birthday party on a private island.

She appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show on Thursday to fend off criticism after Kim Kardashian West revealed the family had travelled to an island in Tahiti for her 40th birthday.

Fans online called Kim's tweets "tone deaf", "insanely selfish" and "out of touch" since the family had travelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Forty and feeling so humbled and blessed. There is not a single day that I take for granted, especially during these times when we are all reminded of the things that truly matter," she wrote on Twitter.

"After two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time."

When asked about the controversy on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Khloe claimed she "hadn't heard a lot about it", but acknowledged that people were upset the family "went out of town". 

"This year is a frustrating year. I get it. I think there's so many frustrations going on for everybody. But also, it's her 40th. This is something that she wanted to do for us. It was such a nice thing," Khloe said. 

"Being there with all the precautions that we took and being there and how grateful everyone was for the tourism aspect of it -  so many people said that we were their first party of guests that they've had in months and what it's done for them to be able to pay their bills or to be able to do stuff for their family.

"Just hearing those messages when we were there, we felt really good and we felt so safe. We did it in the safest way I could imagine someone doing it."

Her comments caused outrage online, with one person calling the family "out of touch".

"How can you be this tone-deaf and out of touch with the reality the majority of the general populace is living in?" they wrote.

"I turned 40 in August and had a nice vacation planned. That is, of course, until the pandemic hit. So are you saying only the rich and powerful deserve to celebrate grand occasions during this time?" another said.

"Over 1,200,000 people are dead [from COVID-19] and y'all probably spent hundreds of thousands on your f***ing birthday party. You obviously don't get it," a third wrote.

Others attacked her for saying the family just "went out of town" for Kim's birthday.

"Out of town.... did y'all not go to a whole ass private island," a Twitter user said.

"'I'm not out of touch' says the woman who refers to going to a private island where she can pretend COVID doesn't exist as 'going out of town'," another wrote.

Kim's birthday reportedly cost US$1 million (NZ$1.5 million), according to Vanity Fair.