Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lori Loughlin's kid, YouTube star Olivia Jade, said she didn't 'really care about school' in vid resurfaced amid college scam charges

Nearly a year before actress Lori Loughlin entered the list of more than four dozen people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal, her daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli had apologized for making comments regarding her higher ed aspirations that some say depicted her as “spoiled” and “a privileged brat.” The alleged admissions scam – which involved placing students in top colleges like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford, University of Southern California, UCLA and the University of Texas – was purportedly run by a man in California, William Rick Singer, who helped parents get their children into the schools through bribes, court documents unsealed Tuesday in Boston showed. FELICITY HUFFMAN, LORI LOUGHLIN AMONG 50 SNARED IN ELITE COLLEGE CHEATING SCAM, AUTHORITIES SAY Most of the students did not know their admission to the school was due to an alleged bribe, authorities said. Back in August 2018, Loughlin's 19-year-old daughter got herself in hot water after she made some comments on her popular YouTube channel concerning her outlook on college. In one of the videos, the social media influencer opened up about graduating from her private high school in California and planning to attend college in the fall. However, the explanation she gave on why she was gearing up to pursue a degree quickly sparked backlash. “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend,” she told nearly 2 million subscribers. “But I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying… I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” The statement quickly ignited outrage from her followers. “Wow I wish I could go to school just for the experience and not care about my education to earn a living and waste your parents money????? Can not relate,” commented one user. WILLIAM H. MACY ADDRESSED DAUGHTER'S 'STRESSFUL' COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS BEFORE WIFE FELICITY HUFFMAN'S ARREST “It sucks that some people don’t have the privilege to get an education and she’s going just for game days,” chimed another. “I love you Olivia I really do, I've been a subscriber since the beginning so I really hope you don't take this as hate but more of constructive criticism,” explained one user. “I honestly found it very disappointing when you said you care more about parties and tailgates rather than your education. If you hate school so much why go to college? You can go to parties and tailgates whenever you want you don't have to go to college.” “People work their a-- off in high school to get into a good college to continue their education, I know I did,” the user continued. “And it's honestly insulting when tons of people can't even afford to go to college but want to and I know damn well you're not going to a community college meaning you're probably going to a good school that others would literally kill to go to. I feel like if you really don't want to continue your education then don't sit there and talk about going to college and not caring about it, focus your attention more on your career if that's truly what you care about.” LORI LOUGHLIN RESPONDS TO JOHN STAMOS CALLING HER 'THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY' Two days later, Giannulli released another video titled “im sorry” to address the overwhelming concern from viewers. “I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically,” admitted Giannulli in the video. “And it totally came across that I’m ungrateful for college — I’m going to a really nice school. And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care, I just want to brush it off. I’m just gonna be successful at YouTube and not have to worry about school. I’m really disappointed in myself.” “A lot of people like to attack me for the way I’ve grown up because it’s really different from a lot of people,” she added, insisting she regretted offending her fans. Fans were quick to forgive the YouTube star. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP This May 15, 2002 file photo shows Los-Angeles based clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli posing with his fall preview clothing for Target department stores in New York. Giannulli and his wife, actress Lori Loughlin were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. (AP) “I don’t think you have to apologize, people get offended for no reason,” wrote one user. “Like who's excited for school work?! Enjoy your college experience!” “We know you didn't mean it, some people just take things the wrong way and blow it way out of proportion,” added another. “Obviously you realize how fortunate you are to go to college. Don't beat yourself up to bad. We all say silly things.” “Personally I thought it was funny, I was lucky enough to go to college – definitely wasn’t cheap for my family – but I still related and laughed,” wrote one user. “Game days were some of the best times i had in college. don’t worry, people get triggered so easily. enjoy what you enjoy.” The alleged admissions scam, which was revealed Tuesday, showed kids' parents would pay a specified amount of money fully aware it would be used to gain college admission. The money would then go toward an SAT or ACT administrator or a college athletic coach who would fake a profile for the prospective student — regardless of their athletic ability, according to the charging documents. COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CHEATING SCHEME SUSPECTS INCLUDE MOSSIMO FOUNDER, HEDGE FUND EXECS On a call with a wealthy parent, prosecutors said, Singer, who owned the company Edge College & Career Network, summed up his business in this way: “What we do is help the wealthiest families in the US get their kids into school... my families want a guarantee.” Singer would help his clients' children by having another individual take SAT or ACT tests on behalf of the students. Parents would pay up to $75,000 for each test and have them wire money to "charitable accounts." In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 "An Unforgettable Evening" in Beverly Hills, Calif. Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were charged along with nearly 50 other people Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the most elite schools in the country, federal prosecutors said. (AP) "Singer used the purported charitable donations from parents, at least in part, to bribe two SAT and ACT test administrators," court documents stated. The court documents also stated that "[Loughlin] agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team – despite the fact that they did not participate in crew – thereby facilitating their admission to USC." Actress Felicity Huffman was also charged and arrested by federal agents in the scandal. Fox News' Katherine Lam contributed to this report.


Before Lori Loughlin’s alleged cheating scandal, daughter Olivia Jade made her life at USC a YouTube brand 

Emily Yahr Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment March 12 at 5:45 PM Last September, influencer Olivia Jade Giannulli gave her 1.6 million YouTube subscribers a tour of her dorm room at the University of Southern California. Amazon had paid for everything in sight, but the room itself wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Like any other freshman, Olivia Jade knew the value of a power strip, a sign of what her brand was on track to become: #relatable college content with a splash of aspirationalism. Five months later, that brand is shattered. Olivia Jade’s famous parents, “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were among the 50 people charged Tuesday by the Justice Department with participating in a bribery scheme to get their children admitted to prestigious colleges and universities. The influencer’s college acceptance is under scrutiny, along with the standardized test results of children born to wealthy people such as actress Felicity Huffman, who was also named in the indictment. [FBI accuses wealthy parents, including celebrities, in college-entrance bribery scheme] Andrew Blankstein, an NBC investigative reporter in Los Angeles, tweeted that Huffman was in federal custody after being arrested at home, and that Loughlin was not in town but a warrant was out for her arrest. A spokeswoman for Loughlin said there was no further information available at this time, and a representative for Olivia Jade declined to comment. (Representatives for Huffman — whose husband, actor William H. Macy, was not indicted — did not return a request for comment.) The criminal complaint alleges that Loughlin and Giannulli agreed to “pay bribes totalling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — even though they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” and includes copies of emails and transcripts of recorded phone calls. It is unclear whether Olivia Jade or the other students knew about their parents’ alleged schemes. USC released a statement on Twitter that read in part, “We are aware of the ongoing wide-ranging criminal investigation involving universities nationwide, including USC. USC has not been accused of any wrongdoing and will continue to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation.” As details of the investigation flew around social media, attention turned to Olivia Jade, the younger of the two Giannulli sisters, who enrolled in USC in fall 2018. Olivia Jade, 19, has 1.3 million Instagram followers and 1.9 million YouTube subscribers, a substantial following that has also earned her the title of beauty vlogger — that, and the fact that many of her Instagram captions refer viewers back to her YouTube channel: “birthday vlog went up on Tuesday,” she once captioned a family photo. She has previously posted sponsored content for brands including Sephora, Tresemmé and Smile Direct Club. In December, she tearfully revealed her first brand collaboration, the Olivia Jade x Sephora Collection makeup palette, on a channel of makeup tutorials and hauls, though she tosses in storytelling videos about her everyday life (e.g. “sorry mom & dad …” and “day in my life college style LOL”) from time to time. At 3 million views, her most popular video is one in which she and fellow YouTube personality David Dobrik teach Loughlin and “Full House” co-star John Stamos slang terms. Stamos begins the video by muttering “YouTube stars” under his breath but praises Olivia Jade for her morals: “Can I just say how proud I am of you? You’re such a good girl, you have good values, and you project good morals.” Judging by the comments on her YouTube videos, the vlogger’s followers are drawn to her perceived genuineness. Beneath the 11-minute “day in my life college style LOL,” which follows Olivia Jade performing menial tasks on campus, someone wrote: “I think its [sic] so cool how she’s in college like a normal teen living with a roomate [sic] and not acting like she’s too good. Olivia has always been so humble that’s why I love her so much.” [Read the affidavit: FBI charges 50 in college admissions bribery scheme] While some of Olivia Jade’s college-era videos and posts have been related to school — she promoted Amazon Prime Student, after all — most are not. Her attitude toward her education has previously attracted criticism, however. In April 2017, she tweeted, “it’s so hard to try in school when you don’t care about anything you’re learning,” but the apathy peaked about a month before she was set to enroll at USC in September. She posted a YouTube video in which she admitted she “didn’t know how much” school she would attend. She told her followers she hoped she would “try and balance it all,” and said she was looking forward to “game days” and “partying,” but didn’t seem all that enthusiastic about the experience. She immediately received backlash to those comments from people who pointed out that she should be grateful for the opportunity to receive a college education. A couple days later, Olivia Jade was back in front of the camera as she apologized for saying she wasn’t as excited about schoolwork and preferred to go to parties. “I said something super ignorant and stupid, basically, and it totally came across that I’m not grateful for college. I’m going to a really nice school,” she said. “And it just kind of made it seem like I don’t care. I just want to brush it off. I’m just going to be successful on YouTube and not have to worry about school.” She added she was really disappointed in herself when she thought more about what she had said. And although she felt she often gets unfairly attacked for growing up with “a different life” than most people (meaning wealthy), she did feel remorse if she came off as spoiled. “I genuinely want to say I’m sorry for anyone I offended by saying that,” she said. “I know it’s a privilege, and it’s a blessing, and I’m really grateful.” Following the indictment, commenters swooped in to criticize Loughlin and Giannulli’s alleged privileged actions: “Can you do a storytime of scamming your way into USC?” one person asked under Olivia Jade’s latest video. Another wrote, “So how did you get 1.9 million subscribers? Mommy pay for those too?” Instagram has been no kinder, and Olivia Jade has since turned off the comments. Abby Ohlheiser contributed to this report.


Cubs used auto-generated captions for their YouTube channel. A deaf fan's concern is prompting them to change that. 

One baseball fan wanted to see the Cubs make their new YouTube channel more deaf-friendly. And now he’ll get his wish. On Monday, Dylan Heuer tweeted his praise for the team’s new channel, which serves as a prelude to an upcoming TV network. But he asked the team to add captions for deaf viewers. “The auto-captions are not going to cut it,” wrote Heuer, 29, who works as a freelance photographer for the Iowa Cubs. “Kris Bryant is not named ‘Chris Brian.’ On behalf of the deaf community, thank you for your consideration #EverybodyIn #Deaf.” After the Tribune asked the Cubs about the tweet, the team announced plans to add captions to videos on the YouTube channel. “Following the launch of our YouTube channel we discovered the captioning software was not precise,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. “We have decided to make an additional investment to improve that captioning and provide a dynamic and robust experience for our deaf fans.”. A national deaf advocacy group told the Tribune that auto-generated captions — on all websites — are often full of errors, sometimes unintelligible and generally don’t meet standards mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. When informed of the Cubs’ decision, National Association of the Deaf CEO Howard A. Rosenblum wrote to the Tribune that the advocacy organization “appreciates sports teams and stadiums that seek to be fully accessible to all fans including ensuring captioning of all aural information, and welcomes collaborations to achieve this goal.” Heuer was surprised when told about the Cubs’ decision, as well as the deaf advocacy group’s involvement, on Tuesday. “I'm one of the biggest Cubs fans around here, and it warms my heart to see that they are doing this,” he said. “I just wanted to see that all of my deaf peers and everybody else have equal access to these videos just like all of the hearing fans.” Heuer, who lost hearing when he was 2 because of meningitis, grew up a Cubs fan in Des Moines. He attended a deaf baseball camp for kids that featured Iowa Cubs players and got a job as the team’s bat boy when he was 16. Heuer brought up the captioning problem to the Iowa Cubs’ attention last season, “but it never went anywhere.” He added the minor-league team likely doesn’t have the resources to manually add captions. When the Cubs launched the revamped YouTube site, he was optimistic he would see better captions but disappointed when he didn’t. “This is a common but understandable issue for live videos,” Heuer said, “but for pre-filmed footage, this shouldn’t be an issue because they have the time to add real captions to them. The auto-captions also aren’t broken up in a way to know who’s speaking what. I have no idea if (Anthony) Rizzo was talking or if Bryant was talking.” Rosenblum said most live TV broadcasts use professional captionists in an effort to meet their FCC obligations. Heuer’s request to the Cubs reflects a much larger issue for leagues and its hearing-impaired fans. In recent years, NAD has successfully sued pro and college teams under the Americans with Disabilities Act, beginning with a landmark case against the Redskins and FedEx Field in 2006 that forced the team to provide captioning for public-address announcements on ribbon boards and play-by-play on TV monitors in the concourses, as well as other concessions. On the issue of the Cubs’ and other teams’ online content, Rosenblum wrote, “The NAD is always seeking to advance equal access for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The Redskins case was the first such case advocating for captioning access in stadiums and will not be the last. We believe the ADA requires all sports teams to make all aural information accessible in text form.” According to the Federal Communication Commission’s website, the 2010 21st Century Video and Communication Accessibility Act requires video programming that’s closed-captioned on TV to also be closed-captioned if it’s rebroadcast on the Internet, though that particular law doesn’t cover programs shown only online. But YouTube videos and similar social media content have been the subject of recent litigation, Rosenblum said. “The NAD is of the opinion that such videos are indeed required to be captioned, which means properly vetted by humans and not just generated by Automated Speech Recognition,” Rosenblum said. “In NAD v. Netflix, we successfully secured a judicial opinion that the ADA applies to internet streaming. From that we reached an agreement with Netflix to caption all of its video streaming content, as well as all of its main streaming service competitors.” He added, “Much work remains before we have a fully accessible world for people with disability.” plthompson@chicagotribune.com Twitter @_phil_thompson Phil Rosenthal: Cubs give fans a glimpse of their TV network with relaunched YouTube channel featuring highlights, Q&As and puppies » Phil Rosenthal: The Cubs are starting a new TV channel in 2020. Here's what that means for fans. » Cubs at spring training: A game-by-game recap »


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