Author Rachel Hollis Apologizes for Controversial Comments on Privilege

After receiving backlash for her comments in a recent viral video, Rachel Hollis took to Instagram to issue an apology.

By Elyse Dupre Apr 06, 2021 4:56 PMTags
Watch: Rachel Hollis Issues Apology After Privilege Video Backlash

Rachel Hollis is issuing an apology.

Last week, the best-selling author posted a video on social media in which she talked about a woman who cleans her house.

"Yesterday, I was doing a live stream and I mentioned that there's this sweet woman who comes to my house twice a week and cleans. She's my house cleaner. She cleans the toilets," Hollis said in a clip of the since-deleted post resurfaced by Angie Treasure. "Someone commented and said, 'You're privileged AF' and I was like, 'You're right. I'm super freaking privileged, but also I worked my ass off to have the money to have someone come twice a week and clean my toilets' and I told her that. And then she said, 'Well, you're unrelatable.'"

Hollis then replied, "What is it about me that made you think I want to be relatable?" 

"No, sis," she continued, "literally everything I do in my life is to live a life that most people can't relate to. Most people won't work this hard. Most people won't get up at 4 a.m. Most people won't fail publicly again and again just to reach the top of the mountain. Literally, every woman I admire in history was unrelatable. If my life is relatable to most people, I'm doing it wrong."

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Hollis captioned the video by calling Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marie Curie, Oprah Winfrey, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai and Wu Zetian "all unrelatable AF." She then concluded by writing, "Happy Women's History Month."


It wasn't long before followers started calling out Hollis on social media. "I have no doubt that Rachel does work hard, but her acting like hard work = automatic ability to 'live your best life' is problematic," one follower tweeted. "It's not that simple. There are many people who also work hard and wake up at 4 in the morning but still don't have what Rachel Hollis has."

Added another, "Yeah, she needs to have a conversation with the people who harvest the food she eats; teach; build the housing she lives in; etc. She wouldn't last 1/2 a day doing any of those jobs."

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

On April 5, Hollis took to Instagram to apologize.

"I'm not going to do this perfectly but I'm going to speak from my heart," she wrote. "I'm so deeply sorry for the things I said in my recent posts and the hurt I have caused in the past few days. I know I've caused tremendous pain in mentioning prominent women—including several women of color—whose struggles and achievements I can't possibly understand. By talking about my own success, I diminished the struggles and hard work of many people who work tirelessly every day."

She then added, "I disregarded the people whose hard work doesn't afford them financial security, often due to inherently racist and biased systems. I did not allow a space for people to voice their anger, hurt and disappointment, which caused even more pain. I acknowledge my privilege and the advantage I have as a white woman, no matter how I grew up." 

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Near the end, Hollis claimed she would reflect and learn. "There are many things I would like to say to reiterate how sorry I am, but the important thing for me to do now, something I should have already done, is honestly, be quiet and listen," she concluded. "I know I have disappointed so many people, myself included, and I take full accountability. I am so sorry."