In the spring of 2021, several news outlets reported that a petition to rename Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., had gained tens of thousands of signatures, and that the proposal called for the airport to instead be named in honor of Jojo Siwa, a singer, dancer, actor, and YouTube personality.
For example, on May 31, the website Unilad published an article with the headline "Petition to Rename Ronald Reagan Airport After Jojo Siwa Surpasses 70,000 Signatures." Similar articles were published by Bustle and Insider.
Those reports were accurate. The petition, launched on Change.org by Dylan Long in April 2021, made the following request: "Rename Ronald Reagan Airport to Jojo Siwa Washington National Airport." As of June 1, it had more than 72,000 signatures.
Long's own description of the petition suggested that he was criticizing Reagan's foreign policy record as president: "Why on earth is there an airport named after this war criminal?" Others who signed on to the proposal provided a variety of reasons for their support.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Joelle "Jojo" Siwa first came to prominence as a participant in the Lifetime reality television shows "Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition" and "Dance Moms," between 2013 and 2015. She has cultivated an enormous following on the video-sharing app TikTok and on YouTube. In January 2021, when she was 17 years old, Siwa came out as gay.
Earlier in May, she told the celebrity and gossip website TMZ she was "on board with" Long's petition to rename Reagan National Airport after her, adding approvingly, "That would be the sickest thing ever."