Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are finding it hard to make friends in Hollywood these days. One-by-one, TV and movie stars are distancing themselves from the two actresses who were found guilty in last year's college admissions scandal. As fellow celebrities, they are shocked. As fellow parents, they are outraged.
Julia Roberts the parent was rather candid when asked about the scandal. To her, it seemed as though Huffman and Loughlin didn't really believe in their children.
"That to me is so sad, because I feel, from an outsider, that it says a little bit, 'I don’t have enough faith in you,'" Roberts reasoned on ITV's "Lorraine" in March.
Sure, Roberts is thankful to be in a position that allows her to provide for her kids comfortably, but she doesn't want them to get too comfortable.
"I don't want them to have to have some of the struggles that I had, but at the same time, you do need to know how to make your bed, and how to do your laundry and be able to make one meal."
Actress and model Brooke Burke takes the same approach with her children and is using the college cheating controversy to impress upon her kids that not everything will be handed to them on a silver platter.
"They don't get their allowance if they don't do their chores," Burke explained at the Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Luncheon in Beverly Hills last month. "There are no negotiations in my house."
Her goal is to make sure her children have, above all else, integrity, honesty, and authenticity.
Those qualities were nonexistent when "Fuller House" star Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli reportedly shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to William "Rick" Singer, the supposed mastermind behind Operation Varsity Blues, to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. Huffman, who starred on "Desperate Housewives" in the early 2000s, pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to fix her daughter's SAT test. Dozens of other, not-so-famous parents are guilty of similar bribes all in the name of their children's education.
Perhaps the strongest response to the controversy was courtesy of actor Rob Lowe's son John Owen Lowe. He opened up on Twitter about how irate the scandal made him as he recalled his hellish high school days.
"I studied for MONTHS for the SAT. Twice, sometimes three times a week," Lowe wrote in a now-deleted tweet. "Tons of practice tests. Ended up taking the SAT multiple times as well. College apps were no joke... the amount of stress kids put into that to potentially lose a spot to someone unfairly is horrible."
"And let me say: I'm incredibly grateful that I had the privilege and opportunity to have a tutor and to afford practice test programs. A lot of kids don't. And to think of them losing their chance at their dream school to someone undeserving is really, really gross."
His final sentiment was pretty somber.
Still proud of this achievement. Happy for everyone out there who earned their accomplishments...and really sad for those who were never allowed the opportunity. pic.twitter.com/P7rDMGJfuU— John Owen Lowe (@Johnny_L0we) March 12, 2019
Rob Lowe activated dad mode, retweeted one of his son's messages and added a pointed, yet profound message: "Very proud of my honest, hardworking sons."
Loughlin and Huffman are facing bigger consequences than getting the Hollywood cold shoulder. Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in jail, fined $30,000, and ordered to 250 hours of community service in September. She served her jail time last month. While Loughlin, who has already lost a few of her television roles, faces more time behind bars. Bette Midler was among several people to suggest that the actresses are getting off pretty scot-free so far.
Lori Laughlin has pleaded not guilty to new college admissions charges. She must be really starting to panic that the judge might put her away for...oh, I don’t know...hours!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 3, 2019
The two actresses will forever be joined in this infamous scandal. But there is an important difference to note. Huffman is remorseful and even cried in court. Loughlin and her husband have rejected a plea deal and are planning to maintain their innocence. Some people have even caught her laughing and smiling outside the courthouse.
As mentioned, there are several other parents caught up in this scandal where Loughlin and Huffman came from, and several more prison sentences to come. Hopefully, those very public cases will also result in more meaningful conversations with children.