Welp. That was quick.
It seems Vh1’s Sorority Sisters is on its last leg. Due to immense audience backlash and corporate sponsors pulling ads from VH1, the network will show the season’s final three episodes back to back Friday night starting at 9:30pm.
Show/History Lesson: this show is premised around the lives of nine Atlanta women from the four historically black sororities. The show did a great job of playing up stereotypes about Atlanta, black females, but most of all any misconception about each organization and its members and how they might ‘typically’ behave.
The show premiered December 15 to 1.3 million viewers and massive contempt. After weeks of backlash through social media (#BoycottSororitySisters), sponsors began pulling ads from the show and Alpha Kappa Alpha even suspended two of the show’s members. Carmex, Crayola, Ford, Hallmark, Honda, McDonalds, The NBA, Sports Authority, State Farm, and Victoria’s Secret all pulled their ads from airing during the show – some pulled their ads from VH1 altogether until the show was canceled.
While VH1 has not stated it will cancel the show, it is pretty obvious no further production will occur.
On one hand, I agree with the general sentiment of fellow black Greeks in that this show should rightfully be pulled because it detracts from the image of the 100+ year old organizations and what they stand for. The main distinction between this show and other reality shows is that these women aren’t just representing themselves, but are also “representing” their organizations – and that is where many people take offense. I get it.
However, I’m still wondering if this show deserved to get such a negative wrap and public outrage? At the end of the day it’s a show that paints the African American community in a bad light as it highlights all of the drama, cattiness and ”good for TV” nonsense that formulates into a great reality show (this is true for any targetted demographic). So if you strip the women saying ‘I’m a proud member of ___ Sorority, Inc.’ at the beginning of each episode, how is this show really different from other VH1 successes like Basketball Wives or the Love & Hip Hop franchise (I’m making an educated guess that the largest demographic of viewers for this show is the African American community)?
It’s just like if I were on a show and I stated I’m a proud Tar Heel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as I entered each scene. Yes, I’m a Tar Heel and no one can take that away from me; however, while I’m associated with the school I am not a reflection of the entire campus or its ideals or its values.
At the end of the day, I think a lot of people are upset because this show ties to the history of the collegiate black experience in a negative way. If the show had kept the same premise (inciting pettiness amongst the represented organizations), but had the cast represent discord on a college campus I do not believe the same outcome would have occured. The masses can relate to a struggling student trying to maintain their grades and extracurricular activities, the masses can’t relate to a burlesque dancer and 30+ year old women (who haven’t stepped on a college campus in years) arguing over the most assinine and simplest things to create a plot for the show.
Song of the Day: Another One Bites the Dust – Queen