Sorority Sisters VH1 Loses Another Sponsor

The NBA has decided to pull advertising from the new Sorority Sisters VH1 show after numerous people online protested the show.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council, the governing body of all nine historically African-American fraternities and sororities, issued an official statement  condemning the program and urging VH1 to “carefully consider the ramifications of such irresponsible programming that continues to exploit and degrade the image of African-American women.”

Exactly what those ramifications might be, the statement doesn’t say. It does, however, promise that each organization’s legal counsels are “taking all appropriate steps to ensure that we protect the legacy of our organizations.”

In the tradition of VH1 reality programming, “Sorority Sisters” follows the lives of nine Atlanta area women. But in this case, the women aren’t wives of professional athletes or rap stars. Instead, these women are members of the four historically black sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

If the season previews are any indication, “Sorority Sisters” won’t spotlight the community service and civic engagement that these organizations pride themselves on. Instead, it will display the same name-calling, drink-tossing, fighting and overall un-sisterly behavior reality television is known for.

While VH1 makes it clear that the show is not affiliated with nor sponsored by any of the four sororities, cast members openly declare their membership and display known sorority hand symbols and calls. The members wear sorority colors, but notably absent from the program is any identifiable Greek paraphernalia.
The issue for many members and supporters of black Greek letter organizations is that while the cast members of VH1’s other programs represent themselves, the cast members of “Sorority Sisters” represent organizations that thousands of men and women claim as their own.

While few people can say they’re married to a hip hop star or professional athlete, thousands of people claim membership in these fraternities and sororities and they take that commitment seriously.

“Love and Hip Hop” star K. Michelle, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., echoed these sentiments in a recent radio interview with Baltimore’s 92Q, calling the show “inappropriate.”

“Some things should be sacred for us,” she said. “The sororities and fraternities are the one thing we looked to in college that uplift the community.”

K.Michelle went on to admit that she has “acted a fool” on TV, but pointed out that it was never done in the name of her sorority. “You don’t get on TV in the name of women that came before us and do what you’re doing. I have no respect for those women.”

It is apparent that the power behind these organizations mean business: