Tyra Banks has a lot of explaining to do, at least to social media users. During a recent interview to promote the upcoming 30th season of Dancing With the Stars where Banks serves as host, Banks spoke with Entertainment Tonight and defended 21-year-old Olivia Jade’s position on the show.
Jade’s parents - Full House star Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, - plead guilty to paying $500k to a fixer in a massive college admissions scandal in 2019 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. Jade and her sister Bella posed as members of their high school rowing team, though they never competed in the sport. Loughlin was sentenced to two months at Federal Correctional Institution Victorville. Giannulli was sentenced to five months at a federal prison in Lompoc, Near Santa Barbara, California. Jade later admitted to regret and using her privilege to her advantage in an interview on Red Table Talk.
Many are questioning what constitutes Jade as a big enough star to participate on DWTS, but Banks says Jade has earned her spot. “I think people don’t know her, they know what happened to her,” Banks said of Jade. “She has said that she did not know about what was going on, and it’s really sad, and it’s very hurtful when something publicly happens but you had nothing to do with it. So I trust that she says she didn’t know.”
Though Banks does believe the term celebrity has changed, she says Jade fits the bill of what a celebrity of today is. “But what is a celebrity today? If that’s the case then there’s no Instagram influencer that is a celebrity. We are in a whole different world and celebrity has taken a turn and a change,” Banks continued. “If people are talking about you, you’re famous, and you can be on ‘Dancing With the Stars.”
Not everyone agrees with Banks. Many are expressing their outrage over her comments online. Take a look at some of the reactions.
A dancer as a dancing contestant (jo jo was literally on dance moms as a competing dancer of a dance group), Olivia Jade had life handed to her on a silver platter and you are proud of her. This show is a joke. Stopped watching years ago.— Alix Rosenthal (@arosen0215) September 20, 2021
And, Olivia Jade is a celebrity of cheating into university? Wtf?— Kennedy Weir (@Kennedy_Weir98) September 19, 2021
She's a little stuck up rich brat that's had life handed to her on a silver spoon she deserves nothing go get a job and make something of yourself loser Tyra Banks Reveals How She Really Feels About Lori Loughlin's Daughter Olivia Jade Being Cast on 'DWTS' https://t.co/KcCBmklQii— bp36 (@WorthBarry) September 19, 2021
I was willing to give this season a shot even with Tyra, but casting Olivia Jade? Celebrity mom cheats to get her into college and we put her on TV? No wonder my high school students think they can cheat without consequence...We literally celebrate it on a national scale 🙄😑👎— Kristina Miller (@kristinawrites2) September 19, 2021
Tyra give me a break!Olivia jade not a star Her mother Lori Loughlin used to be respected girl next store star but was tainted when she chose to illegally pay a college for her Olivia’s admission!Show is Dancing with Stars not rehab for tainted teens Sorry https://t.co/mURuBUYJdc— Ann Kania (@anniekania1) September 18, 2021