Even with Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Gianulli currently behind bars, the college admissions scandal is still making headlines — especially since the couple’s youngest daughter, Olivia Jade Gianulli, 21, took her story to Red Table Talk on Tuesday. People have shared their opinions all over social media, but it’s more fascinating to see how divided Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris were about having Olivia come to the table — and you couldn’t be further apart than Willow and her “Gammy.”
Let’s start out where they agree: white privilege. It’s a huge part of the story, of course. A source told E! News that grandmother and granddaughter both know that “Olivia will be fine because she’s white, pretty and rich.” They understand that “white privilege serves her redemption more than the financial privilege.”
But the two generations have a difference in opinion when it comes to the aftermath. Willow relates to Olivia because they are only one year apart in age; it’s why she believes the YouTube personality deserves “a second chance.” Although it’s difficult for the Black community to offer forgiveness — if Olivia is committed “to change and be better” then Willow is invested in giving her that opportunity.
On the flip, Banfield-Norris has a strong argument that was summed up in two words during the Red Table Talk interview on Tuesday: “Child, please.” She went on to say she was “exhausted” by the year the Black community has had, so it was hard for her to “have the energy” to care about Olivia losing endorsements or having to drop out of USC. Banfield-Norris continued, “You guys will go on…and you will live your life, and there are so many of us that it is not going to be that situation. It just makes it very difficult right now for me to care.”
Banfield-Norris also had no problem saying that she pushed back on doing the interview in the first place because of the unfair message she thought it sent to the Black community. “I just found it really ironic that she chose three Black women to reach out to for her redemption story,” she said. “I feel like, here we are, white women, coming to Black women for support when we don’t get the same from them. It’s bothersome to me on so many levels. Her being here is the epitome of white privilege to me.”
But that’s what coming to the table is all about — being accountable and having meaningful discussions about various points of view. Olivia listened while Banfield-Norris shared her disappointment in having to discuss this lightweight topic in a year filled with deeper issues. And while no one reached a consensus, there was definitely a greater understanding of the multi-sided discussion.
For Willow’s part, she’s going to keep her mind open about Olivia’s redemption — as long as she truly uses her white privilege for making change. “She was still really young when it first transpired, like when the rowing pics were taken,” the E! News source summed up. “We all make mistakes when we are young and she should get a second chance.”
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