Claudia Oshry Soffer, aka Instagram star @girlwithnojob, has posted a video apologizing for old, racist tweets, which resurfaced after The Daily Beast published a story revealing that Claudia, along with her sisters Jackie, Olivia, and Margo, who are independently well-known on Instagram through various popular meme accounts, are the daughters of Pamela Geller, an alt-right provocateur. Claudia called her own tweets "disgusting," "vile," and "stupid," saying, "I was a dumb kid," and emphasized that she's "not racist," and that she "can't believe [she] even [has] to say that."
She continued, "I'm sorry to anyone who read those tweets and had a reaction and was upset, because you're totally entitled to that reaction. But it's so important for you to know that’s not who I am."
Her sister, Jackie, who runs @jackieoproblems, also apologized after past comments of hers were resurfaced by The Daily Beast's story. On March 1, she posted a screenshot of text to Instagram, which read in part, "I want to express my most utmost, sincere apologies for the indefensible comments that I've said in the past." She also said her past comments are "not a reflection of who I am as a person today." By 3 p.m. on Mar. 1, Claudia and Jackie appeared to have deleted their Twitter accounts.
The Daily Beast published a story on Feb. 28 revealing the sisters' ties to Geller, who is president of the anti-Islam organization Stop Islamization of America, and was in 2013 banned from entering the U.K. because her presence there would not be "conducive to the public good," according to the BBC. Olivia and Margo do not appear to have released independent statements as of yet. Bustle has reached out to Olivia and Margo for comment, and we will update this story when we hear back.
BuzzFeed News claimed to have independently verified that the Oshry sisters are Geller's daughters. An attorney representing Claudia gave a statement to BuzzFeed News saying the sisters do not share their mother's anti-Muslim beliefs. The statement reads:
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.
Claudia's apology video and Jackie's statement are only part of the apparent fallout from The Daily Beast's story. The tech platform Oath has reportedly cancelled the Oshry sisters' weekday show The Morning Breath. A spokesperson for the platform told The Daily Beast, "[W]e have launched an internal investigation and will take other appropriate steps based on the results of the investigation." The spokesperson also said "officials are looking into whether the girls would remain employed at Oath," according to The Daily Beast.
Alex Taub, founder of SocialRank, a social media analytics service, told The Daily Beast that he could "sympathize" with the Oshry sisters, "who are probably in the tough position of loving their mom, but potentially not aligning with her more extremist views." He said that "just dipping in" to politics when you're running a meme account can be "potentially bad."
"You don't need to get political to have a successful meme account and you don't need politics to blow up in the meme world, there's enough memes to go around for everybody," Taub told The Daily Beast. He added that, "Most people on Instagram following meme accounts are progressive young people, so for those who do lean right, it could actually hurt them to disclose that."
Buzzfeed News pointed to other past social media posts by the sisters that have political undertones, including the tweets for which Claudia has now apologized. In 2014, Claudia reportedly tweeted, "I can't help but feel like I'm funding terrorism when I take a cab."
Another post from Claudia, tweeted in 2015, reportedly reads, "Listening to Obama talk about ISIS is like listening to me talk about quantum physics." Jackie reportedly quoted this tweet and added, "Listening to Obama talk about ISIS is like listening to me talk about boys. I too don't understand the enemy."
The Daily Beast also reported that Margo "excitedly attended Trump's inauguration" and posted an Instagram of herself "wearing a gold MAGA hat." "When Trump gives me a reason to Instagram another picture of myself, you know I’m down," she reportedly captioned the photo, which is no longer available.
Claudia and Jackie appear to be the only Oshry sisters to have made a statement following The Daily Beast's story. Geller does not appear to have commented publicly.