Student wrongfully accused of racism receives death threats after being targeted by Disney star

  • Molly Akin, formerly a student at Samford University, was photographed by a friend after getting a spray tan. The photo was captioned “we changing races tonight!!”
  • Akin was not involved in the captioning of the photo and quickly communicated that to the university’s administration, which cleared her of any wrongdoing.
  • Later, a social media influencer posted Akin’s photo and Instagram handle to Twitter saying, “She was caught being racist but her school did nothing!!” which resulted in Akin receiving death threats.

After another student posted a picture of her with a controversial caption, a former student of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama found herself at the center of a university investigation regarding her alleged racial bias.

In October 2019, Molly Akin had her photo taken by a friend in which she playfully showed off the poorly executed spray tan she had just received. Without Akin’s knowledge, her friend posted the picture to social media with the caption: “We changing races tonight!!”

“Many people presupposed that she was complicit, but those assumptions were incorrect.”   

Akin said in an interview that when she became aware of the post, she “went straight to administration of my university to make sure they were completely aware of what had happened, how I was completely unaware that this was posted, captioned and none of this had been done with my knowledge or permission." 

After launching an investigation into Akin, the university ultimately exonerated her of any wrongdoing, saying in a statement, “Many people presupposed that she was complicit, but those assumptions were incorrect.”

[RELATED: School apologizes after highlighting student group accused of being ‘racist;' president of the group responds]

While the university says it investigated the incident “by collecting and reviewing social media posts, text messages and other information obtained from multiple sources,” Akin told WAGA-TV that she “got a multitude of death threats via social media and just people talking to me.”

After the issue had been resolved by the school administration, on June 5, 2020, social media influencer and former Disney star Skai Jackson, posted on Twitter that Akin was “caught being racist” and tweeted at Samford U, “what do ya’ll have to say about this?” 




  




Her post resulted in a slew of hate comments directed at Akin, with one user tweeting, “I would shove her of [sic] a cliff for money” and another tweeting “This is disgusting. Expel her.”

Jackson has allegedly been using her platform to doxx minors, as well. In one particular case, Twitter users allege that she found and published the information of a 13-year-old child and his parents because the child posted a derogatory meme that said “guacamole n*** p***”, which allegedly resulted in the child being expelled and his parents fired from their jobs. Jackson denied in a tweet the allegations that the child was expelled or that his parents were fired from their jobs, but acknowledged that she made the post.

[RELATED: University asks students to 'pledge to practice antiracist behaviors' in full-throated endorsement of BLM movement]



 



While there were some individuals who showed their support for Akin, like a tweet stating, “All u guys saying Samford didn’t do anything, do your research. She is to blame yes but there is wayyyy more to the story,” they were the minority.

Akin has now reportedly changed schools and appears to have taken down her Instagram page. 

Akin used to be a Brand Ambassador for Pura Vida. In the above Twitter exchange, Pura Vida responded to a Twitter user saying, “Pura Vida does not stand for racism or discrimination in any way - and this expectation also applies to each of our Brand Ambassadors in our program. We are taking action accordingly - Molly is no longer a Brand Ambassador for Pura Vida.”

Akin could not be reached by Campus Reform for further comment. 

The university did not condone the trial-by-social-media and said in its statement to students to “never engage in harassing or hateful online speech” and “thoughtfully protect yourself from potential legal consequences.” The university assured students that another student “was found to be responsible for violating the university student conduct code and was disciplined.”

The president, Andrew Westmoreland, and the vice president of student affairs at Samford University, R. Phillip Kimrey, did not respond to Campus Reform for comment in time for publication. 

Follow the author on Twitter: @westonexclusive



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Michelle Weston
Michelle Weston | California Campus Correspondent

Michelle Weston is a California Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform. She is currently attending Orange Coast College and majoring in Economics. She is a member of the school's Honors Program and intends to transfer to a university to obtain her bachelors degree in Business Economics before pursuing an MBA.