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A Woman's Video Of Her Nanny Returning To Her Family After 30 Years Majorly Backfires — 'This Is A Tragedy'

Photo: TikTok
Woman's tribute to nanny returning home after 30 years backfires

A California family is facing major backlash after the daughter revealed in a TikTok video that her nanny returned home to the Philippines after working for her family for 30 years. 

What was meant to be a touching video of a reunion backfired, leading to a debate on migrant labor, exploitation, and the economic inequalities that drive individuals to make difficult sacrifies for their families.

The TikTok video reveals the moment Lexie Jay's nanny reunited with her family in the Philippines.

A popular influencer, Lexie Jay, begins her TikTok by explaining the impact her nanny— Elena— has had on her life. “She got me ready for my first day of preschool, moved me into my college dorm, and everything in between,” she says. One video clip shows Elena hugging Lexie’s dad, telling him “You are part of my family.”

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Photo: TikTok

She goes on to explain how Elena sacrificed being with her own children to work in America and provide for her family in the Philippines. Lexie says, “It had been over 30 years since nanny had last been to the Philippines. She sacrificed raising her son and daughter to get a job in America and sent every dollar she could back home to her family.”

She further explains, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that she’s been through hell, yet somehow she’s the smiliest, happiest, person I’ve ever met.”

Later in the video, the two make their way through the LAX airport and Lexie accompanies Elena on her flight to the Philippines. While on the plane, Elena thanks America for everything it had brought to her, while Lexie curses it for “not letting her stay forever.”

“Will nanny’s family take good care of her? Will they resent me? Will she fit in? Will she be homesick for America?” mentions Lexie in a voiceover paired with clips of them on the airplane. The two “hold hands for the majority of the flight,” and finally— after 30 years— Elena is reunited with her family. 

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Some who saw the video were upset that an ‘absolute tragedy’ was portrayed as a ‘cute story.’

Lexie faced a lot of backlash on her now-deleted video from people who felt bad that Elena wasn’t able to go home and see her family for over three decades. They questioned why she couldn’t achieve a more secure immigration status during that time. One claims “This is indentured servitude. And she’s selling this as a cute story when it’s an absolute tragedy.”

Another stitched Lexie’s TikTok with the caption, “You telling me there was NO WAY she wasn’t able to become a citizen considering she had to miss out on the lives of her children to take care of your family.”



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“So let me get this right,” he says. “You had a stay-at-home nanny that worked for your family for three decades, yet you say America did not allow her to stay longer. So you’re telling me within 30 years, no one helped her get a work visa so she could get a green card? …This doesn’t sound right.”

An additional TikTok user voiced their opinion on the video, saying, “It’s very sad to see that your parents didn’t even provide a means for her to even get citizenship or even to go home more often.” She goes on, “It really is like just an exploitation of power.”



“This is not a happy story. This is actually quite a sad story. Your family exploited this woman for 30 years. She had kids of her own. Her kids are probably resenting her. Like they are grateful for the money going home, but I’ve spoken to kids like this. They miss their parents. They pray that their parents can come home. She didn’t want to raise you.”

Lexie claims it was her nanny’s decision to stay in America for 30 years.

According to Lexie, “It was her decision to stay here as long as she did,” and Elena didn’t visit home because “her immigration lawyers advised her not to, and advised her kids not to visit.”

There are many problems with this situation, but the root issue is that imperialism has forced people in impoverished countries to have no other choice but to take an opportunity like this when it comes along. “People often make this sacrifice for their kids—yes it sucks but living in poverty in the Philippines is worse,” writes a user on Twitter.

Yes, the family is wrong for exploiting a system that forces migrants to work in servitude. But to make a change, we should focus our attention less on tearing down a girl who has had her nanny since childhood, and more on dismantling what compels individuals to migrate and work under exploitative circumstances. 

Oxfam International works to dismantle unequal systems that perpetuate poverty and injustice and reject the extreme concentration of wealth and power that drives inequality. They "fight efforts by elites to divide us based on race, gender, nationality, and class so that no one goes to bed hungry and everyone has an equal chance to succeed." Donations that support an equal future are accepted on their website.

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Maddie Haley is a writer for YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers pop culture, celebrity news, and entertainment.