On February 28, the Daily Beast published an article about the Instagram-famous @girlwithnojob and her sisters. Proclaiming “The Instagram Stars Hiding Their Famous, Muslim-Hating Mom, Pamela Geller,” the article details how the Orthodox Jewish sisters have taken great lengths to hide who their mom is in their rise to insta-fame.
The four sisters — Olivia, 26 (@oliviaoshry), Jackie, 25 (@jackieoproblems), Claudia, 23 (@girlwithnojob), and Margo, 20 (@hungoverandhungry_) — have varying levels of Instagram fame. But they have all built their brands on being authentic, funny, millennial, relatable (and Jewish!). Claudia has 2.8 million followers (as of this writing) on her meme account, and her husband (@boywithnojob) has 1.5 million followers.
Jackie and Claudia started hosting a morning show last year — “The Morning Breath” — produced by Olivia, that quickly became one of 2017’s most popular podcasts (and was live-streamed every morning on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). Kim Kardashian even re-tweeted them earlier in February.
Hi! @girlwithnojob breaking open @KimKardashian's #KIMOJI @KKWFRAGRANCE chocolate heart on #TheMorningBreath is the only thing you need to see today 💜💜💜 #kkwfragrance #KKWBeauty pic.twitter.com/3r3PjKSXEx
— The Morning Breath (@TheMorninBreath) February 8, 2018
But their popularity is swiftly declining after it was revealed who their mother is: Pamela Geller, a notorious Islamophobe. As the Southern Poverty Law Center writes, “Pamela Geller is currently one of the most flamboyant anti-Muslim activists in the United States.” She is a contributor to Breitbart, supporter of the Jewish extremist group the Jewish Defense League, and gained prominence in 2010 when she led the campaign opposing the Islamic Center planned for two blocks from Ground Zero. She’s currently president of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), which is as bad as it sounds.
In the Daily Beast article, the reporter explains: “None of the girls have spoken out or denounced their mother’s extremist views. In fact, the Oshry sisters have gone to great lengths to conceal their connection to their mother.” In addition, racist and homophobic tweets by Claudia and Jackie were unearthed, along with the sisters’ support for Donald Trump.
.@girlwithnojob is not being criticized for being anti-Obama. She made many horrible problematic and racist statements over the years including these https://t.co/dt9hZVvIhZ pic.twitter.com/fWQdbjAl1s
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) March 1, 2018
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 28, 2018
It’s also important to note that eight months ago, this all surfaced on Reddit. So while the Daily Beast technically “broke” the story, it wasn’t that difficult to find. One commenter wrote, “they are very close with their mother and spend lots of time with her, you can check Pamela’s social media and see they are in the same places at the same times but everyone crops each other out,” and, “they have the same toxic politics as their mom.”
Additionally, Jackie hasn’t been quiet about her support for Trump. Her liberal fans just chose to ignore. For example, on Trump’s inaguaration, Jackie posted a photo of Melania with the caption “Jackie O Approved! 💙”
This past year, all four sisters were vocal in their support for Bo Dietl, a 2017 mayoral candidate, who — according to New York Magazine — “worked for everyone from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Steve Bannon to Donald Trump to Roger Ailes.” So these sisters’ political leanings hasn’t been a secret. Nevertheless, fans are #shook.
Many are calling to unfollow the sisters. In now-deleted comments from the Morning Breath’s Instagram, fans write:
On Twitter, fans are similarly dismayed and called to unfollow the sisters.
Every time I like a @girlwithnojob meme I feel like I’m funding systemic racism
— dizzle_saint_james (@Ummhowaboutno_) March 1, 2018
Apparently @girlwithnojob thinks that Obama is a Muslim and I've literally never unfollowed someone so fast in my LIFE
— rumpelstiltskin rupia (@cassandrarupia) March 1, 2018
Other fans are more defensive about the sisters, saying that the public doesn’t know what their beliefs are and that they are not their mom.
@TaylorLorenz What was the aim of the Girl With No Job expose? To ruin their careers because of tweets they posted 6 years ago and because of their mother's political views? Feels unnecessary and witch hunt-y. Nobody is following those girls for politics.
— JACQUES (@arcadeyblog) March 1, 2018
— Mary Clare Amselem (@MCAmselem) March 1, 2018
In a statement to the Daily Beast, Claudia said: “We want to be clear to our audience and fans that our political and cultural beliefs are not anti-Muslim or anti-anyone. Our views are separate from our mother’s. Being raised by a single parent, we were taught to make our own choices based on our personal beliefs. We are inspired to think for ourselves and we do. We do not condone discrimination or racist beliefs of any kind.” While this implies that her views — and her sisters — are different than their mom’s, it does not come out and say it.
In addition, last night, Claudia posted an apology video on her Instagram, addressing her racist tweets not her mom.
In the video, Claudia says, “I’m sorry to anyone who read those tweets and had a reaction and was upset, because you’re totally entitled to that reaction. It’s so important for you to know that’s not who I am. And if you give me the opportunity to show you who I am and what I stand for, I would be so grateful. I understand that these things take time and what I did was not OK. I’m so sorry.”
Jackie also published an apology on her Instagram, writing in a screenshot of the Notes app, “I want to express my utmost, sincere apologies for the indefensible comments that I’ve said in the past. That is not a reflection of who I am as a person today and I am truly sorry to everyone I’ve offended and let down. All I can do now is reflect and learn from this experience by showing everyone the good that is in my heart.”
What happens next?
This morning, Oath cancelled the “The Morning Breath.” According to TMZ, “Oath Inc. — which owns AOL — has canceled the Oshry sisters’ YouTube show, ‘The Morning Breath,’ and is launching an investigation into the latest revelations about the family.”
However, it’s dubious that Oath didn’t know who their mom was before now, as Mariah Smith points out:
there's no way that the ppl who put "The Morning Breath" on air had no idea about GWNJ/The Oshry sister's mom. There have been COUNTLESS articles, message boards and posts about them over the years. they're about as racist and vile as they come.
— mariah smith (@mRiah) March 1, 2018
What it means in terms of Instagram and sponsorships, no one knows. (Here’s the real time follower count of @girlwithnojob, quickly dropping.)
Popular meme account @fuckjerry called them out on his Instagram story last night (which he has since deleted, but screenshots last forever); perhaps other large Instagram accounts will follow suit. Whatever happens, these sisters probably need to totally distance themselves from their mom’s racism (which could be a tricky thing to do, after all: it’s their mom) to salvage their social media fame. As my 16-year-old cousin texted me: “It makes me mad because behind all of it, maybe they are horrible people.” And how do you come back from that?