Olivia Jade’s tell-all dropped on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk today, and, we have to say, she actually comes across quite well – particularly given the circumstances.
The interview, with family hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield, is Olivia’s first since her parents, actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were sentenced to jail time for their involvement in the college admissions scandal, which broke last year and subsequently kicked off a load of conversations around wealth, white privilege and disparity in the US – discussions that absolutely should be had more often here in Aus.
“I’m not trying to victimise myself,” Olivia said in the chat. “I don’t want pity – I don’t deserve pity. We messed up. I just want a second chance to be like, ‘I recognise I messed up.’ I never got to say, ‘I’m really sorry that this happened,’ or ‘I really own that this was a big mess-up on everybody’s part,’ but I think everybody feels that way in my family right now.”
The 21-year-old then went on to recall how she’d been on spring break with mates when news of the scandal had broken, and that she’d felt so “ashamed” and “embarrassed” that she’d dropped out of uni. “I shouldn’t have been there in the first place clearly, so there was no point in me trying to go back,” she said.
The YouTube influencer also addressed the issue of privilege, explaining that at first she didn’t quite understand why what her parents had done was wrong or why people were complaining. In her world, as she tells, that kind of thing was ‘normal’.
“That’s embarrassing within itself, that I walked around my whole 20 years of life not realising, ‘You have insane privilege.” She later added: “A huge part of having privilege is not knowing you have privilege.”
Olivia admitted to thinking of herself “like the poster child of white privilege”, but she also stressed: “The picture that has been painted of me is not what I am.”
Interestingly, in the episode, Gammy (Jada’s mum and Willow’s grandma) shared that she wasn’t at all keen on Olivia appearing on the show. “I fought tooth and nail,” Gammy said.
“I just find it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story. White women coming to Black women for support when we don’t get the same from them… it’s bothersome to me on so many levels. Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me.”
Loughlin, who's best known for her role as Aunt Becky on Full House, is currently serving a two-month prison sentence and, if all goes to plan, will be out by Christmas, while Giannulli is serving a five-month sentence.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are at @sangeetatatiana.