NEW YORK — They’re the Instagram superstar sisters who have built a media empire off funny memes and hilarious commentary.
Despite building a brand of being transparent and authentic, there was a small family secret the New York-based sisters have spent years trying to conceal. Their mother is prominent anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, who has built a career for pushing what many have deemed a controversial, alt-right agenda and has even sued to place anti-Muslim signs in the New York City subway.
The “mother” of revelations was first reported in an explosive expose by The Daily Beast.
It claims the sisters tried to hide their connection, even deliberately leaving their mother out of family photos. The report also uncovered old and now-deleted racist and homophobic tweets, which seem to suggest the girls align themselves with their mother’s beliefs.
As the story got traction, so did the backlash which was followed by an apology from both sisters.
“I am not racist I can’t believe I have to say that,” a seemingly emotional Claudia Oshry said in an Instagram video posted late Wednesday. “I am so sorry to anyone who read those tweets.”
Despite the tearful apology, the Oshry sister’s live social media show “The Morning Breath” was canceled by Oath – the media company formed last year’s AOL and Yahoo merger.
“When you do get involved in politics, you’re definitely going to alienate 50 percent of your audience,” Stephanie Abrams, co-founder of Socialfly a social media agency that works with influencers, said.
According to Abrams, the Oshry sisters’ decision to keep their mother’s identity a secret may have been one that was purely for business.
“I don’t think their brand is forever tarnished,” she said. “It’s all gonna be about how they make a comeback from this. There are still brands who still want to associate themselves with these women”.
In addition to their now-canceled show, the sisters have lost over 40,000 followers in the past 24 hours.
Claudia Oshry is scheduled to perform at Caroline’s comedy club Thursday. The show is set to still go on.