College admissions scandal resurfaces after Loughlin’s release from prison

Brianna Carmack, Print Editor-in-Chief

The infamous college admissions scandal has resurfaced after Lori Loughlin was released from prison on Dec. 28, serving about two months. 

Loughlin was sentenced to serve two months in prison because of a bribery scandal that occurred at the start of 2019. Loughlin, along with her husband Mossimo Giannulli and actress Felicity Huffman, was caught in the scandal and admitted to having paid $500,000 to ringleader Rick Singer, ultimately earning Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli admission to the University of Southern California. Mossimo was reported to serve six months in prison on Nov. 19. Huffman served 11 days in October 2019, which also sparked some tension back then. 

The controversy around it is that this situation epitomizes white privilege. Following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, many people exclaimed that Loughlin’s white privilege earned her only a two-month prison sentence compared to Black convicts who have had to serve more for a smaller crime. I think Loughlin’s white privilege definitely had a prominent role in shortening her sentence. 

However, I think along with that, Loughlin is a public figure who, clearly, has a lot of money, which most likely also played a role in why her sentence was so short for a bribery crime. Followers of the scandal insisted that Loughlin have a longer sentence because of the outrageous crime that was committed in 2019.

Another scandal that gained a ton of media attention was the plea deal that was made by Tanya McDowell, a homeless African American woman who falsified her residence in order to get her son into a better school and faced five years in prison. McDowell also had previous crimes that lengthened her sentence, but when disregarding that, would McDowell serve the same amount of time? Loughlin’s money and recognition ultimately gave her an easy sentence. Even the prison that she attended is known for being more pleasurable than punishable. The Federal Correctional Institution of Dublin California is a low-security, female-only prison. According to, this prison includes many programs, such as access to commissary, 300-minute phone calls, yoga and arts and crafts. If you believe that white privilege doesn’t exist, research on this scandal as it is a clear glimpse into what white privilege can do to benefit someone. 

Olivia Jade Giannulli is a social media influencer who lost brand deals, sponsors and other life-changing opportunities that could’ve furthered her influencer career. After the situation with her parents, Jade wasn’t present on the internet until recently when she made an appearance on Red Table Talk, a show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and her daughter Willow Smith. As people watched the episode, many were sympathizing with Banfield-Norris’ opinion on Jade being the “poster child” of white privilege whereas Pinkett Smith and Smith gave Jade the benefit of the doubt. 

After watching the interview, I agree with Banfield-Norris. I found it quite ironic that Jade chose to talk with three Black women, knowing that the Internet has been epitomizing her mother’s prison sentence as white privilege. I’m sure Jade intentions were pure, but the look is not great. 

Loughlin’s release sparked up many conversations on what white privilege is and what it can do for you. According to, the average sentence length for bribery offenders is two years. Loughlin faced only a 12th of that. This scandal isn’t the only one that screams white privilege and even just privilege in general. However, Loughlin’s case shows the ins and outs of how being white and having money benefits in America.