Olivia Jade Giannulli is finally speaking out after her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, were handed short prison sentences for their part in the college admissions scandal that hit headlines in 2019.
The 21-year-old joined an episode of Red Table Talk, a Facebook Watch show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith, and found herself on the receiving end of an impassioned speech about privilege.
Banfield-Norris immediately opposed the idea of letting Giannulli onto the show, calling it “ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story.”
“Here we are, a white woman 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.”
But the Instagram influencer was eventually allowed on the show all the same, after Pinkett Smith shared her own frustrations relating to society dismissing any difficulties her own kids have gone through due to their privilege of being rich.
“I’ve been in that position, with me thinking I know what’s best for my kids, and then they suffer the consequences,” she said.
When Giannulli arrived, she talked through what she did and didn’t understand about her own privilege before the scandal broke, thanks to growing up in a bubble where everyone basically shared her privilege. Moreover, she says she’s taken the last year to try to learn about that privilege.
“So do you understand why different people in the community would be upset…at your being here?” Banfield-Norris asked.
“I think for me, it’s like, there is so much violent dehumanization that the Black community has to go through on a daily basis,” she continued. “There is so much devastation, particularly this year, 2020, with the pandemic and everything brought to the table about how there is so much inequality and inequity, that when you come to the table with something like this, it’s like ‘Child, please.’”
“I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted with everything we have to deal with as a community and I just don’t have the energy to put into the fact that you lost your endorsements or you’re not in school right now. Because at the end of the day, you’re going to be okay. Because your parents are going to go in and they’re going to do their 60 days and they’re going to pay their fine, and you guys are going to go on and be okay and you will live your life. And there’s so many of us that it’s not going to be that situation. It just makes it very difficult right now for me to care in this atmosphere that we’re in right now.”
“But this is why I am glad because what I am hearing from you is that there’s an interest and a desire to learn and figure out where you fit into the world and what your role is to make a difference,” Banfield-Norris concluded.
The internet reacted strongly to this explanation, as well as Banfield-Norris’ (or Gammy, as the other two women call her) entire approach to Giannulli’s guest appearance on their show.
The whole episode is available to check out on Facebook Watch.