University of Alabama Alpha Phi sorority criticized for recruitment video
TODAY Show – (TODAY) - A sorority chapter at the University of Alabama has taken down a popular video and deleted all of its social media pages in the wake of criticism over the recruitment video, which has been depicted as lacking diversity and objectifying women.
Alpha Phi deleted the video, which had 500,000 views on YouTube before it was taken down, but it has since been uploaded to YouTube by others. The chapter also has taken down its Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages. The controversy began with an opinion piece by AL.com writer A.L. Bailey, who called it "all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition."
The headline of the story calls the video "worse for women than Donald Trump," who recently drew fire for comments to Fox News host Megyn Kelly that some viewed as sexist. Bailey also calls the sorority members "poster children for detrimental stereotypes and cliches."
"These young women, with all their flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future,'' Bailey wrote.
Reaction online has varied from support for Bailey's position to those arguing that the video was just supposed to be light-hearted and not taken that seriously.
Alpha Phi is the fourth-oldest sorority in the country, with alumni that include state legislators, civic leaders, and the first female treasurer of the United States. The University of Alabama chapter, which has 72 members, and the national chapter did not respond to requests for comment by NBC News.
The controversy has not had any negative effect on sorority recruitment overall, as the University of Alabama added a record 2,261 women to the sorority system on Saturday, which may be the largest pledge class in the nation. A spokesperson for the university told AL.com that 214 of the women are minorities.
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