The Axel Webber Juilliard rejection saga just got even stranger.
Over the past month, aspiring actor Axel Webber has become one of TikTok’s buzziest and most talked-about creators. The 22-year-old originally went viral in December after giving viewers a tour of his incredibly small Manhattan apartment.
Weeks later, he reached a new echelon of fame for chronicling his experience auditioning for The Juilliard School, one of the nation’s most prestigious performing arts colleges. When he shared that the school ultimately rejected him, TikTok rallied around him — with everyone from Charlie Puth to Kelly Clarkson stepping in to comment on the saga.
Now, TikTokers have found a new way to respond to Webber’s rejection. As Insider notes, fans of the creator have seemingly taken to writing scathing, one-star Yelp reviews for Julliard. Many of the reviews name Webber specifically.
“If I could give you a zero, I would. But that is not possible, so I give you a one, due to the non-acceptance of Axel Webber,” one negative review, posted the day after Webber’s rejection, reads. “He is far more deserving of a spot in your program than any other student admitted thus far. He is TikTok famous, and has already been featured on at least one news program. The vibes this man gives are, at this point, too much for you. Your audacity has been noted by over 2 million people.”
“You missed out on Axel Webber,” another review states. “You don’t know talent even if it slapped you in the face.”
“What’s wrong with a British accent?” another reviewer wrote, referencing Webber’s claim that Juilliard criticized him for using a British accent in his audition. “Admission staff clearly doesn’t care about their candidates.”
As of Jan. 11 — two days after Webber’s rejection — reviewers had posted at least a half-dozen one-star reviews referencing the TikToker directly. Since then, Yelp has temporarily blocked new reviews due to “unusual activity.”
At least some of the fervor seems to have started with TikToker Ty Bott, who left a comment on Webber’s rejection video asking, “How do we leave a Google review on Juilliard?” In a follow-up clip of his own, Bott showed a recording of numerous negative Google reviews for the school — all posted shortly after his comment.
“What have I done?” Bott asked in the clip.
Insider also points out that Google reviews for Juilliard are currently not visible to the public. It’s possible they turned off the reviews in a similar fashion to Yelp’s temporary ban.
Webber, meanwhile, has bounced back from the rejection with plenty of excitement. He announced just a few days later that he’d signed a major modeling contract, and he’s since been interviewed by ABC News and the New York Times.
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