Jay Leno: College Cheating Scandal the ‘Legal Definition’ of White Privilege

PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 5: Television personality/comedian Jay Leno attends the NBC Network portion of the 2009 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on August 5, 2009 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Late-night legend Jay Leno said the scandal over parents, many of them Hollywood figures and CEOs, cheating their children’s way into elite colleges was the “legal definition” of white privilege.

“(T)his stupid college thing that’s going on, that just broke this week–that is the ultimate… you know, I always hear the term ‘white privilege,’ and what does that mean–this is the legal definition of it,” Jay Leno told Fox News.

“[It’s] just rich people buying their way into something they don’t belong to,” the 68-year-old said.

Leno also said that minority students were at a disadvantage because of legacy admissions.

“I mean, how many black, brown, yellow, orange kids got screwed out of college because somebody knew somebody or someone’s grandfather went there before. I think it’s going to be a good thing–it’s going to break it all up and make it more egalitarian for everybody, so I think it’s a good thing,” Leno said.

News broke this week that elite parents, including Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman and Full House actress Lori Loughlin, were charged as part of a scam to get their children into prestigious colleges using false information.

Prosecutors said parents paid an admissions consultant from 2011 through last month to bribe coaches and administrators to label their children recruited athletes to boost their chances of getting into college. The consultant also hired ringers to take college entrance exams, and paid off insiders at testing centers to alter students’ scores.

Some parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children’s admission, officials said.

Actor Dean Norris responded to the news by slamming the parents.

“When I think of all the kids who studied hard, stayed up late, had part time jobs to pay for their college application fees, and then were denied rightly deserved places in elite colleges because some rich fuckwads cheated for their already privileged kids— I’m disgusted,” the Breaking Bad actor said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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