Entertainment And News

Should We 'Uncancel' Lori Loughlin And Olivia Jade?

Photo: Getty
Oliva Jade and Lori Loughlin

Two months after Lori Loughlin completed her jail sentence, her youngest daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli is opening up about being the victim of public-shaming in the aftermath of the college admissions scandal.

The 21-year-old YouTuber found herself at the center of a national scandal after it was revealed that her parents falsely portrayed Giannulli and older sister Bella as athletes, in addition to paying a $500,000 bribe to secure their admission to the University of Southern California.

The misconduct sparked a long-standing debate around privilege and corruption in the college admissions system, and made Giannulli and her family victims of the also hotly debated prevalence of cancel culture.

In the fallout of the scandal, Giannulli lost out on several lucrative sponsorships, while Loughlin was dropped from the Fuller House cast.

In the unforgiving eyes of social media, Loughlin and Giannulli are far from redeemable. Loughlin has remained relatively undercover since she was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud but even still her name reappears in scathing articles and social media posts regularly.

Equally, if anyone is looking for a focus group to gauge how the public feels about Loughlin and her family, the comment sections of Olivia Jade’s social media accounts reveal just how unwilling her audience is to forgive and forget the past.

Can there be any restitution for Loughlin and her family in the eyes of the public?

RELATED: Shane Gillis, Dave Chappelle, Kathy Griffin & The Myth That Liberal Cancel Culture Ends Careers Over One Mistake

The privilege exhibited by the family before, during, and since the scandal means that the Giannullis aren’t exactly the most sympathetic of characters — but can our collective consciousness ever let this one slide?

And if so, to what end?

Are champagne problems still problems?

Giannulli took to TikTok to discuss her experience of public-shaming by reiterating a conversation she shared with a friend.

“We were talking about being in the public, and being publicly shamed, and I was like, ‘Well, my situation doesn’t even compare, I’m not even going to start to compare it to yours,’” Giannulli said.

“And she looked at me and she said, ‘Olivia, it doesn’t matter if I’m drowning in 60 feet of water and you’re drowning in 30. We’re both still drowning.’”

Unsurprisingly, Giannulli’s comments were quickly flooded with criticism directed at the social media star accusing her of being unaware of her privilege and discounting her experience.

But these critiques, while valid, seem to overlook the message Giannulli was trying to convey.

Giannulli’s problems might be packaged in something glamorous, they might even be somewhat self-inflicted, but they’re still problems.

How many of us can say they know what it feels like to have the world turn against you for a mistake your parents made when you were a teen?

In part, privilege is bred from a lack of consideration towards the problems of others. So when we neglect the needs of even the most privileged people, we feed into a vicious cycle where everyone is out for themselves.

If we keep discounting and discrediting Giannulli’s problems, how can we expect her to ever care about ours?

As Giannulli put it, “You’re allowed to have a hard time in this world. But that doesn’t take away from somebody else, and that shouldn’t take away from you.”

RELATED: Are Lori Loughlin And Mossimo Giannulli Divorcing? Why Daughter Bella Is Worried

Loughlin has served her jail time, but is her sentence complete?

In the eyes of the law, justice has been served in regard to Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli now that they've completed their jail time.

But in the trial by media, Loughlin’s sentence is far from over.

The release of Netflix’s Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal has shed an even brighter light on our unwillingness to forgive and forget as even more questions have been raised about the lack of remorse shown by the perpetrators of the fraud.

If we’re to put any faith at all in our justice system, we must believe that Loughlin’s sentence and fine rehabilitated her in some way. But many could argue that her two-month prison sentence was just another example of how fortune favors the rich.

So what exactly is the crime we’re trying to punish, then? That someone took advantage of the system designed to privilege them? Or does the heart of the problem lie with the system itself?

Either way, is Loughlin and Giannulli really are the ones to blame here, but are each of them just another, more privileged victim in a system that ultimately fails us all?

Is anyone uncancellable?

What do we need to see from Loughlin and Giannulli in order to truly absolve them of their sins?

Olivia Jade has publicly apologized on a number of occasions and even addressed her lack of awareness of her privilege in a highly publicized Red Table Talk interview.

She has also returned to posting on her own YouTube channel, and starts each video with a disclaimer stating that a portion of the profits from all of her content goes to charity.

Yet still, Giannulli can’t seem to escape backlash in her comments as people continuously lambast her for her parent’s crimes.

Loughlin, on the other hand, has remained silent on the issue apart from a statement read out in court in which she apologized for her actions, saying, “I now understand that my decision helped exacerbate existing inequalities in society, generally, and the higher education system, more specifically.”

If the reactions directed towards her daughter are anything to go by, the public may not be ready to hear from Loughlin any time soon.

Loughlin and Giannulli are just two examples in a wider discussion around accountability and what we are and are not willing to forgive as a society.

When the reasons behind someone’s “cancellation” run the gamut of anything from a politically incorrect slip up to actual federal crimes, there is no clear answer on whether anyone is redeemable.

Yet there seems to be something hopeless about a society that demands justice while never accepting change.

RELATED: Gen Z Is Trying To Cancel Eminem — Rapper Responds With New Song Titled 'Tone Deaf'

Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.