Fans of failed dance school applicant spam institution with one star Yelp reviews following online rant

·2-min read
Axel Webber, a TikTok user at the centre of a small social media storm (TikTok@axelwebber)
Axel Webber, a TikTok user at the centre of a small social media storm (TikTok@axelwebber)

Fans of an aspiring actor and TikTok user have reportedly besieged online maps with bad reviews of a competitive dance school that rejected him.

Axel Webber told his TikTok followers on 10 January that The Juilliard School in New York City had rejected his application, “but I did get a modelling contact”.

Explaining how it unfolded, he told his 3.6m TikTok followers in another video about being told he was “no longer under consideration for admission for fall 2022”.

A TikTok user with 2.9 million followers, Ty Bott, commented below the video: “How do we leave a Google review on Juilliard???” That was apparently the inspiration for social media users to flood Google Maps and Yelp with negative reviews forJuilliard.

“What have I done,” asked Bott in his own video on 11 January. “I commented on Axel’s TikTok after he was rejected from Juilliard and I said ‘How do we leave a Google review on Juilliard?’ And y’all it is almost at 2,000 likes.”

The TikTok user shared screenshots of one-star reviews left for Juilliard, causing him to remark: “We just cancelled one of the most prestigious universities in the entire world”.

Insider reported on Thursday that reviews for the school were not publicly viewable on Google Maps, but The Independent was able to view reviews which appeared positive and not associated with Axel or Ty.

While on Yelp, visitors to the review website are warned that the the page for The Juilliard School was “being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.”

The aspiring actor appeared in another video on 12 January and told his fans to tone down the criticism of Juilliard, and apologised after tens of thousands liked comments including one that read “Justice for Axel”.

@jeremyoharris

#stitch with @axelwebber #greenscreen it’s actually my favorite game to play.

♬ original sound - Jeremy O. Harris

“Thank you for your support...Let’s keep it positive though,” Axel said in a TikTok. “Let’s try not to totally ruin their Instagram account. The poor social media manager over at Juilliard: I apologise!”

His TikTok account has since received verified status, and the aspiring actor has been flooded with messages of support from across the entertainment industry, including from playwright Jeremy O’Harris.

The Juilliard School declined to comment.

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