Red Table Talk hosts were divided over the college admissions cheat Olivia Jade Giannulli’s appearance; after all, they shouldn’t have to bring white women to social consciousness
In March 2019, the largest US college admissions scandal unfurled when 50 people were charged for their organized efforts to buy their children’s admission to America’s most prestigious universities. Among the group were notable celebrities and public figures such as Michelle Janavs and Felicity Huffman, but the most outrageous case was that of the actor Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. When their daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli was admitted to the University of Southern California on a fictitious rowing scholarship, accompanied by $500,000 paid to college counselor Rick Singer for the acceptance, the family’s devious activities were not out of the norm – at least for people within their social circle and of their privilege.
On Wednesday, daughter Giannulli, who was a famous YouTuber and influencer before the scandal’s publicity, appeared on Red Table Talk to publicly apologize for her role in the scam. While host Jada Pinkett Smith seemed to welcome the 21-year-old with open arms, Adrienne Banfield-Norris was not so welcoming. “I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story,” Banfield-Norris said. “White women coming to Black women for support, when we don’t get the same from them.” It’s not surprising she was cynical. When the allegations first came out, Giannulli neither apologized nor attempted to understand her wrongdoing, let alone the vast inequalities it exposed. Instead, Giannulli tried, without success, to revive her influencer career.