Shamed but defiant, Olivia Jade returns to YouTube

February 12, 2020 — by Harshini Velchamy

Olivia Jade is back — but not repentant.

The 20 year-old YouTuber, the daughter of actress Lori Laughlin, has returned to the site after a nine-month hiatus. 

Jade rose to fame through her makeup tutorials and occasional videos featuring her famous mother. She became a household name after her parents’ involvement in the Varsity Blues college admission scandal that captured the public’s interest in March of 2019. 

The accusation against her parents is that they paid $500,000 to University of Southern California’s coaches and administrators to secure Jade and her sister’s positions at the school.

After dropping out of USC, Jade took a break from YouTube after the scandal broke out to the public. Her parents, Loughlin and Mossimo Guillani, have been charged with conspiracy fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bribery. Both could each serve up to 45 years in prison for their crimes. 

But despite her parents’ possible incarceration, Jade still seems to be living without the implications of the scandal. She has been shown relaxing and ultimately enjoying life while her parents face jail time. This just feeds into the already popular idea that she is entitled and, privileged and sees no consequences for her actions.

There is no way Jade can expect people to forgive her for the scandal if she continues to act as if it never happened and tries to move on with her life instead of actually addressing what she did.

Jade’s first video titled, “Hi again,” has over 5 million views with 150k dislikes and 133k likes. 

While Jade has tried to just ignore the admissions controversy, she needs to come out in front of the issue and actively issue an apology.

Despite receiving tons of backlash for her return back to YouTube, she wants people to move on past the incident and overall not talk about the scandal.

“I want to move on with my life — not trying to be in a selfish way,” Jade said in a video posted on Dec. 1. “It's so hard because I'm not trying to, like, make this about me or how I've been, because it's not the point of this, though I'm terrified to make this video and to come back … The moral of the story is: I've missed you guys so much and I'm just really excited to start filming again."

That’s literally it. She refuses to even address the opportunities that she and her parents stole from others with the scheme and thinks that just saying “not in a selfish way” makes everything OK.

Since the scandal, brands such as Amazon, Sephora and Tresemme have distanced themselves from her. 

Jade has restricted comments on her Instagram posts to only her close friends and family. So, again instead of trying to fix the trust between her and her fans, she just chooses to sweep all the negative comments under the rug and just keep a facade of positivity and love. 

There’s no way her career will ever get back to normal unless she admits she made a mistake. Maybe her career will stop right there but at least the pain she caused will have been partially mended.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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