What a difference a decade makes.
On this date in 2010 — long before they’d involuntarily make a splash on a billboard now looming over Times Square — socialite Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner mingled with the Gossip Girl crowd at a party thrown by Kushner’s New York Observer.
In fact, the episode “Easy J” aired on the first wedding anniversary for the ascending power couple, who now serve as advisors to Ivanka’s father, President Donald Trump. (Watch a Business Insider featurette on their cameos above.)
Reflecting in September 2017 on the guest-casting, Gossip Girl co-creator Josh Schwartz told Vulture, “it would’ve been, ‘They’re on a list and they’re in town — reach out and see if they’re available,'” adding: “People wanted to be on the show. It was a crazy thing.”
“They are socialites in New York and they do fit the world of Gossip Girl,” EP Joshua Safran added. “I’m sure Lily van der Woodsen knows Trump and would have been on the board of charities with him or Melania. That’s the world of Gossip Girl, so to deny it would be wrong.”
In the same Vulture interview, Schwartz copped to at least one regret about the cameo — that Kushner didn’t get more to say in the Season 4 episode, seeing as it’d be nearly seven years before the world at large would hear (and in part mock) the businessman’s speaking voice. “We could’ve had a recorded video of his voice!” the EP lamented.
Ivanka Trump, however, had been no stranger to the on-screen spotlight, having served as a boardroom advisor on many episodes of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice.
“I never miss an episode of Gossip Girl,” Ivanka told InStyle at the time of her cameo. “I think I’m a cross between Blair Waldorf (played by Leighton Meester) and Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford) when it comes to the style. I like the uptown city style and a clean-cut, streamlined silhouette.”
As a matter of fact, around the time of her Gossip Girl visit, Ivanka launched a line of clothing and shoes, building on her fine jewelry collection. Six years later, as Donald Trump neared his inauguration as President of the United States, Ivanka stepped away from her business — which had drawn much criticism for relying exclusively on low-wage factories in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China — just as Kushner himself stepped down as CEO of his real estate company.