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On Sunday, December 1, Olivia Jade made her return to social media after roughly eight months of silence following the college admissions scandal. After being asked to leave the University of Southern California, she suspended her social media accounts— a big deal for someone whose income stems from YouTube. She posted a two-minute video to YouTube that explained that she missed her career as a social media influencer and wanted to start making videos again, but is legally obligated to stay quiet about the charges her parents face for the college admissions scandal. 

For those who do not remember, Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, and other celebrity parents were exposed last spring for paying off admissions officers, testing officials, and college coaches to get their children into top colleges universities. Some of these schools included the University of Southern California, Yale, Wake Forest, and other top thirty institutions. Olivia Jade, a social media influencer known for her YouTube videos, was dropped by sponsors and faced immense public backlash for her unfair acceptance into USC. Her comeback, despite the fact that she is unable to address the scandal and legal proceedings, has already turned heads. 

It would be difficult for Olivia to regain the following and sponsorships lost, as she dropped about 65 thousand Instagram followers in March and was let go from brands such as Sephora, Lulus, Amazon, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Smashbox, Smile Direct Club, Too Faced Cosmetics, and Boohoo. Her YouTube video received nearly 400 thousand views in the first three hours, showing that she is still extremely relevant and influential, though the reason for her significance is no longer the same. She is no longer talked about simply because her mother was on Full House or because she makes popular fashion and lifestyle videos. Now, people are tuning in to her videos because she is attached to the admission scandal. It will be very interesting to see what direction Olivia takes her YouTube channel in from here and whether her subscribers remain loyal and active, or if interest wanes as she remains silent about the scandal. Similarly, as her parents’ trial proceeds, all eyes will be on Olivia and her sister to see if they are implicated in any way and to see their reaction to the consequences that their family will face. 

Erin Byrd

Wake Forest '23

Erin is a sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who hopes to major in Finance and minor in Psychology.
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