Alabama Sorority Removes 'Objectifying' Promotional Video After Backlash

Aug 18, 2015

The Alpha Phi sorority chapter at the University of Alabama has removed a promotional video from all of its social media accounts after complaints that it depicts women "selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity," according to one op-ed, and shows a lack of diversity.

The six-minute-long clip was published last week to attract potential new recruits ahead the annual sorority rush recruitment event at the university, Mashable reports. The video shows the sorority sisters running around campus in bikinis and football jerseys and putting on makeup, among other things.

Criticism towards the chapter was initially sparked by an op-ed published by writer A.L. Bailey on local news website, AL.com. "It's all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It's all so ... unempowering," Bailey wrote of the video.

Since then, the video has been reuploaded by countless YouTube users. While commenters panned what they referred to as the video's sexist undertones, others have defended the video as just being a fun promotion for the group.

It isn't the first time the university's sororities have come under fire for a lack of diversity. An investigation conducted last year revealed the extent to which traditionally all-white sororities at the school rejected women of color as pledges.

"This video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens," University of Alabama's Associate Vice President for University Relations, Deborah Lane, said in a statement.

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