Bill and Melinda Gatesdaughter, Phoebe Gates, slammed racist comments about her relationship with boyfriend Robert Ross, saying she is “Done being memed for being in an interracial relationship.”

The 20-year-old Stanford sophomore, who has a following of over 250,000 on Instagram and over 70,000 on TikTok, recently sat down with tech media outlet The Information to discuss how it felt going public with her relationship with Ross, a Stanford alum, in May 2022 as an influencer.


“It’s 2023. I’m done being memed for being in an interracial relationship,” she told the outlet.


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Since confirming their relationship, Gates and Ross have received major social media backlash, with online trolls fixating on Ross’s race and alluding that he is only dating her for her name, money and status. Gates has regularly shared photos and videos of her time with Ross on her Instagram account, with the first post dating back to last October.


Gates believes “the misconceptions and conspiracy theories about my family and my relationship with my boyfriend” to be the worst part of being an influencer on Instagram and TikTok, which she uses to “tell my own story and also use the attention my family name might bring to spotlight issues that are important to me, like women’s health and sustainable fashion.”

She also shared that she was not allowed a cell phone until she was 14 years old.

While acknowledging that people have “a lot of preconceptions about her,” Gates says that she is “pretty realistic that people start following me because of my family name” and that it must be “funny” for her followers to see her billionaire father “being a goof” on her social media platforms.

“But once they follow me, they stick around, and I think some of that is because of the issues that I post about, like women’s health. I like to bring audiences along to the events I go to, my life at college, what’s front of mind for me, that kind of stuff,” she added.  

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