‘Gossip Girl’ Creator Responds to Olivia Jade After College Admissions Scandal Reference

Olivia Jade and Joshua Safran
Frazer Harrison;Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for New York Magazine

HBO Max’s highly-anticipated Gossip Girl revival premiered July 8, and while many fans shared their thoughts online, one person in particular felt explicitly called out by the show.

The viewer in question was 21-year-old influencer Olivia Jade, who rose to popularity through her lifestyle and beauty YouTube channel. Jade became a subject of controversy in 2019 due to her connection to the college admissions scandal. Her mother, Full House star Lori Loughlin, was charged and imprisoned after offering bribes to get her two daughters into the University of Southern California.

Jade’s career took a hit following the controversy, resulting in her losing sponsorship deals with various brands, including the beauty retailer Sephora, where the young YouTuber had launched her own product line. She also received backlash on social media, where she was the victim of cyberbullying.

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In the first episode of the Gossip Girl reboot, the character Luna La (Zión Moreno) directly references Jade and the college admissions controversy. “And everything will be fine so long as you win. Olivia Jade gained followers when her mom went to jail,” she says. However, Jade claimed otherwise and took to TikTok to set the record straight.

Sharing a video of herself watching the scene in question, Olivia is seen shaking her head in response to Luna’s comment, which plays on the TV in the background. “No, I didn’t,” she says before the clip cuts off.

@oliviajadegno i didn’t♬ original sound – Olivia Jade

Jade’s response did not go unnoticed by the Gossip Girl team, as the show’s creator Joshua Safran replied to the influencer on Twitter. Resharing the TikTok clip, Safran wrote, “Ok my bad. Check out Olivia Jade’s video!”

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Last year, Jade, who has 1.84 million subscribers on YouTube and 1.3 million followers on Instagram, spoke to Jada Pinkett Smith on an episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, where she addressed the fallout from the college admissions scandal. “I remember thinking: How are people mad about this? A lot of kids in that bubble, their parents were donating to schools and doing stuff that, like, so many advantages,” she said.

“It’s not fair and it’s not right, but it was happening. This was normal. But I didn’t realize at the time that was privilege,” she continued. “I don’t want pity. I don’t deserve pity. I just want a second chance to be like, I recognize I messed up.”