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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

In today’s age of social media, you can rise to fame just as quickly as you can fall. Unfortunately, for Tiktok couple @lundenandolivia, that’s exactly what happened. 


Who are Lunden and Olivia? If you’re not on the #chitchatgrwm or lesbian side of Tiktok, then you may be wondering who this couple is. Lunden Stallings and Olivia Bennett are a Southern lesbian couple who quickly gained followers from posting their OOTD’s and daily content of their lives. Fans fell in love with their love story, and watched as they got married over the weekend in Georgia. Guests were donned in white, and their venue was picture perfect. Their devoted fan base gushed over details on the wedding, as People Magazine even ran an exclusive on the wedding. For many, Lunden and Olivia were amazing representations for the LGBTQ+ community — a nonconservative, lesbian, Southern couple who were in love and just wanted to show their lives to the world. 


Days after their show-stopping wedding, a Reddit post containing hundreds of racist tweets surfaced. This post detailed how Lunden Stallings used the N-word over a two year period — hundreds of times. If that weren’t enough, she also used the platform to bully others and let them know to “go back to their country.” The posts made from 2012-2014 showcased an entirely different personality than fans were used to — and exactly what they were afraid of — an orthodox Southerner who didn’t care for her actions and how they affected others. The revelation sent shockwaves through their fan base and the broader online community, with the internet quickly turning against them. 


With sudden and rapid controversy surrounding their name, Lunden and Olivia quickly went to their TikTok story to address the situation. In two separate videos, one with Olivia in the background and one with just Lunden herself, the creator went on to take accountability for her actions.

“I am completely and utterly disgusted and ashamed,” she stated. Lunden then went on to explain that while the tweets are real and apologized for them, they were not a reflection of her now. “I don’t want people to think that I am just sweeping this under the rug or that it’s something I’m not going to address or don’t want to address because I do want to address it. That’s not who I am.”

In response, fans were disappointed by the route the couple was taking. TikTok stories only last 24 hours, so if you didn’t watch the video within that time, you wouldn’t be able to see it again (although there are many clips online). Women of color then went to TikTok to express their frustrations over how mainstream media continues to waive accountability once statements are made. Being racist cannot be excused by immaturity, and it seems to be the same story every time by social media stars. 


While the Reddit post did it’s intended damage, internet sleuths continued digging. The couple’s beautiful wedding venue, previously described as “historic,” was actually just an old plantation where thousands of people were enslaved. Naylor Hall was built during the antebellum period by Barrington King, whose father was a plantation manager in charge of hundreds of slaves, sparking even more controversy and darkening their reputation.

This discovery sent fans into a deeper spiral, even allegedly digging up Olivia’s past tweets. Although she did not have as many as Lunden, the tweets did depict her using the N-word in various situations. Fans were even more disappointed as Olivia did not acknowledge these during Lunden’s apology video. 


In the end, there is much to take away from this story. As many POC have pointed out, the same people who get praised for diversity and almost always end up in the same position — canceled. This brings up a conversation about what the media passes off and accepts as diversity. Many users argued that there needs to be more POC lesbian couples, so that those who rise to fame do not end in the same situation: apologies backed by tears and immaturity.

However, Lunden and Olivia’s story also demonstrates how fast media fame comes and goes. You can get canceled within a day of what’s supposed to be the best moment of your life. As watchers, we shouldn’t idolize people on the internet who we don’t know. At the end of the day,  accountability is necessary in order for change, and fans wish that a more substantial apology was made. Cancel culture is a very toxic space, and death threats do not employ change. Realizing mistakes, learning from them, and using your platform for good and to uplift others is what creators and viewers alike should strive for. 

Laurelle is a fourth year Psychological Brain Sciences major who loves true crime, reading, and all things Taylor swift related. When her nose isn’t in a book or studying, you can find her at the ocean probably thinking about the values and complications of life.