Perhaps the most controversial of all casting choices was that of Olivia Jade.
Olivia Jade is the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin, who went to prison following a college admissions scandal that put Olivia Jade in the public eye in a negative sense. Olivia Jade is also an Instagram influencer, and she’s set to be partnered with professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy.
Fans Did Not Appreciate Seeing Olivia Jade in the Ballroom
Fans took to Twitter to let ABC know they were not happy with seeing Olivia Jade in the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom.
“We need to put our differences aside & come together to get Olivia Jade voted off Dancing With the Stars during the first week, we can do it,” one fan wrote.
Another wrote, “It’s beyond easy for little rich white girls to rebrand how tf is olivia jade on dancing with the stars?”
“I hate that Olivia Jade is on Dancing With the Stars. It shows that rich white people don’t face consequences,” another person tweeted.
Others are upset that Olivia Jade’s scores were higher than others.
“Watching dancing with the stars and there is no f****** way OLIVIA JADE scored higher than iman shumpert,” one viewer wrote with five angry emojis.
When it comes to her being partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy, one person thought that was a conspiracy of some sort.
“Not Dancing With the Stars giving Olivia Jade one of the most popular male partners to ensure she stays there as long as possible,” they wrote.
Tyra Banks Defended Casting Olivia Jade on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
“I think Olivia is so brave,” Banks shared. “I think people don’t know her, they know what happened to her. 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.”
Banks added, “She is having to deal with that and I think she’s coming to ‘Dancing With the Stars’ to be able to tell her story and show her vulnerability. And is she a celebrity? Not traditionally, 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.”
She refers to the fact that Olivia Jade is an influencer and social media star even if she is not a star in what most would say is the traditional sense. Banks says that since people are talking about her, she’s famous and therefore deserves her spot on “Dancing With the Stars.” Olivia Jade has over 1 million followers on Instagram at the time of writing.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.