VH1 has fans and sponsors talking about its new reality television show, and it’s not in a good way.
Known for its 3 different installments of Love & Hip Hop, the producers might have taken it too far on Monday, December 15 with the airing of its new show “Sorority Sisters.”
“Sorority Sisters” is centered on the lives of sorors from the four Divine 9 sororities of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. In the series the ladies deal with the pressure of maintaining their image in the community as well as relationships and holding down the bonds and legacies of their sororities.
The new reality show that is supposed to be about service, scholarship and sisterhood did not hit off well with viewers on its season premiere. Many people took to twitter to express their opinions about the show:
“I had to stop watching #SororitySisters. Made me want to quite life.”
–Goldie Taylor via Twitter
“@therealrc #SororitySisters is beyond a hot mess. Instead of being caddy grown women why not showcase community service. Now classy @VH1!”
–LaQuasha Gaddis via Twitter
The viewers weren’t the only people reacting to the new reality series. Companies and sponsors are noticing the negative backlash and are pulling their ads from the show as well.
Carmex and Hallmark were among the first companies to announce their decision on Twitter.
“Our commercials appeared as a part of a larger buy on VH1. We aren’t planning to air commercials in future episodes.”
–@Hallmark via Twitter
“Carmex does not endorse or represent any particular content on television. After our investigation into the new program, however, we are in process of pulling our add dollars from VH1.”
–@Carmex via Twitter
Following amongst others, Honda, Crayola, and State Farm also pulled their ads from the show.
A petition on MoveOn.org has also been started to help remove the show and currently has over 75,000 signatures. Already reaching the second phase, it now needs 100,000 to get to the next phase:
“Stop the spread of ignorance and stereotyping of our beloved Black Greek letter organizations,” the petition reads. It goes on to say, “Our founders amongst EVERY organization worked extremely hard to allow us to unite and flourish not only on college campuses, but as people well beyond our college days…”
The National Pan-Hellenic Council of Presidents has recently released a statement condemning the TV show as well.
“As leaders of the four historically African American sororities, we are united in our belief that Sorority Sisters, which aired Monday, December 15, 2014 on VH1, poses a shameful affront to our proud legacies of service, scholarship, and sisterhood,” it stated in the letter.
The letter went on to discuss the disappointment in the producers of VH1 to promote “harmful, negative and stereotypical imagery of African in their quest for ratings,” and encouraged VH1 to consider the consequences of such “irresponsible programming.”
Despite the negative backlash VH1 is still not planning on cancelling the show. Washington Post reported an emailed statement on behalf of VH1 that the premier was seen by 1.3 million people and was the number one non-sports cable program in that time period.
The show’s second episode is scheduled to air on today.