It was the biggest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted and now, one of the kids caught up in their parent’s deception is going to the red table to finally share her side of the story — Olivia Jade. With her parents in jail, she’s looking for support – though the red table might have not been the best place to come for it.
Olivia Jade Giannulli was a freshman at the University of Southern California when the bombshell dropped that her admission had been paid for, upending her life as a fashion influencer, blogger and YouTube personality. With her famous parents both swept into federal charges over her and her sister’s college dreams, the young woman disappeared from life and didn’t return back to the school.
There are many questions that she’s sure to face with her return to public life, including the fact that many people want to know if she knew. Adrienne Banfield-Norris, aka “Gam” on Red Table Talk, seemed to be very upset at the invitation to Olivia Jade to sit down at the table. While Gam seemed heavily against Jade’s appearance, the other co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith seemed more open to having a conversation with the young woman.
Jade’s appearance on the show seems to at least exemplify that the embattled young adult realizes the actions that her parents took on her behalf, her privilege and how she was at least complicit in it all because of her being in her own “little bubble,” she told the hosts.
White privilege was a sticking point, especially for Gam. The fact that Olivia Jade and her sister can exist in a such a bubble but need to come to a show run by 3 Black women seemed to really bother her.
“I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story. I feel like, here we are, white women coming to Black women for support when we don’t get the same from them,” she said. “Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me. It’s not our responsibility to raise her consciousness.”
Olivia Jade seems to be more conscious of her privilege after this whole debacle, even responding to criticisms of a YouTube video that resurfaced of her being very nonchalant about school. In the video, she expressed at the time she didn’t care about school and was there for the activities and partying – which, given the situation now, felt very tone deaf.
“The fact that you could even say those things shows how fortunate you are,” she said of herself. “That you didn’t have to worry about that. That you knew you were going to be ok without it. And that sits with me and makes me cringe and it’s embarrassing that I ever said those types of things.”
Jada seems to believe in redemption, telling Gam “I never want to be the thing that was done to me by white women,” with Gam’s looks and body language saying she totally didn’t agree.
“We gon’ get heat,” said Jada – before Olivia Jade even came out to join the discussion.
See the episode below.