Olivia Jade's Most Controversial Moments

If there's one word you can associate Olivia Jade Giannulli with, it has to be controversy. The influencer has earned herself quite the following on social media (she has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube, and more than 360,000 followers on TikTok as of August 2022). It's safe to say her online presence has been a little, or a lot, overshadowed over the years. But we'll be getting more into all that, trust us. 

As for how she deals with all that pressure? "It's helpful for me to remember that we were never meant to see the amount of people we see on social media," she explained to The House in March. "The amount of people we can reach on social media is unfathomable... this isn't how we are built to digest information in a healthy way so you have to take it all with a grain of salt," she added, admitting she's not immune to feeling the effects of negative comments.

As the famous daughter of former "Full House" star Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, Olivia Jade was always going to receive some degree of criticism when she opted to put her life on display — but it's safe to say she's had more than her fair share of backlash over the years.

The college admissions scandal

Of course, Olivia Jade's biggest drama has to be her involvement in the infamous college admissions scandal of 2019. Her parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of paying $500,000 to get Olivia and her sister Isabella Rose into the University of Southern California. The family falsely claimed that the sisters were rowing team recruits, per ABC News. Photos later surfaced of Olivia Jade using a rowing machine to supposedly demonstrate that the sisters were keen rowers — even though they weren't. 

Loughlin and Giannulli both pled guilty to the crime and served prison time, with the former getting two months behind bars and the latter being sentenced to five months, per NBC News. In addition, Loughlin had to pay $150,000 and do 100 community service hours, while her husband was fined $250,000 to match an order of 250 service hours.

How much Olivia Jade really knew has been disputed, though a source claimed to Us Weekly, "Olivia fully knew what her parents did to get her into USC, but didn't think there was anything wrong with it. She didn't get into any other California schools." Meanwhile, official court documents (via U.S. News) also alleged that Olivia Jade had been CC'd on an email from her parents to the man they paid to get her into the college.

Olivia Jade claimed she was 'publicly shamed'

Leading on from that infamous college admissions scandal, some weren't exactly happy with the way Olivia Jade spoke about the crime afterwards, and she received plenty of backlash in March 2021 after saying she thought she'd been "publicly shamed" about the incident. That came about after Netflix dropped the documentary "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal." 

Speaking in a TikTok video that has since been deleted, Olivia Jade explained that she spoke to an unnamed woman about the intense scrutiny. "We were talking about 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.' And she looked at me and 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,'" the influencer said (via ET). But not everyone sympathized. The backlash spread across social media, while BuzzFeed News reported that several fans slammed her in the comments section. One particularly perturbed TikTok user even commented, "Publicly shamed or being held accountable?" Yikes.

Olivia Jade also sparked backlash when a fan asked her about "collage" on TikTok in July 2021. The star responded by mocking the typo and seemingly making light of the scandal, saying, "I actually love collaging. I'm working on this really f***ing sick scrapbook that I have to show you guys soon. It's chef's kiss. Beautiful work I've done."

The Dancing with the Stars casting

Plenty of "Dancing with the Stars" fans weren't too happy when Olivia Jade was announced as a contestant on the show in 2021. Many took to Twitter to voice their disappointment and call out ABC for giving Olivia Jade a platform, particularly when the college admissions scandal still felt somewhat fresh. "Disappointed @ABCNetwork .. rewarding repulsive behavior now? Great example for younger generations...," one person tweeted, while another wrote on the social media site, "@ABCNetwork gives privileged Olivia Jade, who's parents went to jail for their role in college admissions scandal, a spot. Just another reason why [this] show...should be canceled. Beyond ridiculous." 

But that wasn't the only drama that stemmed from Olivia Jade's casting. An ABC executive was actually prompted to hit back after blind item gossip blog Crazy Days and Nights circulated a seemingly unfounded rumor claiming the influencer had some kind of deal with producers to stay in the competition until at least the third week. EVP of Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment Robert Mills wasn't having any of it, though. He quoted a tweet recirculating the rumor and wrote, "This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. The show is a competition and as such is subject to legal and broadcast standard regulations." For those keeping count, Olivia Jade and her dance partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, stayed a little longer than that, going home in week eight.

Is Olivia Jade best known as an influencer?

The "Dancing with the Stars" drama didn't stop there for Olivia Jade. Aside from her just being cast on the reality competition, some viewers also took issue with her remarks on the show after she shared how those watching were most likely to know her. "I'm probably best known for being an influencer. But the last few years I've been, I guess you could say, wrapped up in a scandal," Olivia Jade quipped during her intro confessional (via SheKnows), which had the keyboard warriors out in force.

Many Twitter users flocked to critique the contestant over her vague remark about the serious crime. Several were unhappy with the way she spoke about her social media presence while somewhat skimming over exactly why she and her family were embroiled in scandal. There were memes aplenty across the internet, while one Twitter user wrote in all caps, "OLIVIA JADE CALLED HERSELF AN INFLUENCER ON #DWTS BUT LIKE IS THAT REALLY WHY [YOU'RE] DANCING?" Another savagely wrote in a viral tweet, "Olivia Jade on #DWTS: 'I think I'm best known for being an influencer'. Nah, we all know what you're best known for and it's not that" (hint, hint: it's the college admissions scandal).

Yep, that "DWTS" appearance certainly stirred up a whole lot of controversy.

Two fingers up

In the words of Beyoncé, "put them hands high." Olivia Jade caused controversy again in 2019 (that was clearly a pretty big year for this star) when she posted a since-deleted photo to Instagram that showed her putting two fingers up to the camera. Who was she aiming the hand profanity at, we hear you ask? The big bad media. The hand gesture was aimed at several media outlets (she tagged the likes of People and the Daily Mail on the upload, according to Page Six) who had reported on the college admissions scandal — and Olivia Jade's bold response didn't go down well with many of her followers.

One viral tweet (which garnered close to 20,000 likes) read, "I can not believe Olivia Jade is on Instagram trying to say a big f*** you to the media who did [their] job and reported on all the shady s*** she and her mom did and every influencer with a blue check mark is applauding her for it." Another Twitter user shared a screenshot of the original post from Olivia Jade's account as well as a few comments and wrote, "Olivia Jade is white privilege at its finest. And all of her influencer friends liking and commenting while comments from anyone else are blocked is very telling." 

Yeah, we can certainly see why the influencer chose to remove this post from her profile.

Olivia Jade's comments about white privilege caused an uproar

Olivia Jade sparked controversy once again in June 2020 when she shared a social media post about white privilege and racism, admitting she was unaware as an individual born to wealthy, white parents that racial injustices abounded. (Lori Loughlin's estimated net worth is $70 million, supposedly combined with Mossimo Giannulli's.) Olivia Jade's musings came amid heightened focus on the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd. She wrote on her Instagram Stories, in part (via Us Weekly), "THERE SHOULD NOT BE SUCH A GAP BETWEEN PEOPLE LIKE THIS. We need to support and stand up and speak and use our WHITE PRIVILEGE TO STOP THIS."

Plenty called her out for her comments, claiming her family's involvement in the college admissions scandal was the epitome of white privilege. "Olivia jade on IG going on about white privilege... you mean the thing that's keeping your parents out of jail and that fake got you into USC? I can't," one person hit back on Twitter. Olivia Jade was continually slammed for supposedly sharing her privilege across social media afterwards, despite the state of the world, per Mercury News.

For her part, the celeb returned to Instagram Stories a few days later to share that she'd donated to The Bail Out fund, per Us Weekly, as part of the BLM Donation Challenge.

The View's disappointment

It's not just the people of social media that Olivia Jade Giannulli knows how to rile up, as she's also felt a wrath we would never want to experience — from the ladies of "The View!" The co-hosts laid into her over her "Red Table Talk" interview in December 2020, in which she opened up about (what else?) the college admissions scandal. Speaking to Jada Pinkett-Smith, her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter, Willow Smith, Olivia Jade talked about her wrongdoings and her right to be forgiven, stating, "What happened was wrong, and I think every single person in my family can be like, 'That was messed up. That was a big mistake.' But I think what's so important to me is to learn from the mistake. Not to now be shamed and punished and never given a second chance."

The interview didn't sit well with Sunny Hostin on "The View." She slammed Olivia Jade for not explicitly acknowledging how paying for her college spot could have taken a position away from an ethnic minority student who otherwise couldn't afford to attend. Ana Navarro was equally incensed about the chat, and didn't mince her words when it came to letting the world know. "I really have no interest in talking about this entitled brat and her enabling parents. They're going to be okay. There's a lot of people making lines in food banks right now," she pointed out.

Yep. Olivia Jade certainly knows how to brew some controversy.