In the short time since Sorority Sisters aired on VH1 in December, the reality show has earned harsh criticism from the Black community for it’s “disrespectful” representation of Black women and Black Greek letter organizations.

The Sorority Sisters themselves are finally speaking out. All nine cast members sat down for an hour-long segment on VH1 where they revealed why they decided to participate in the controversial reality show.

“My whole reason is to inspire,” said Cat, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. “There are a lot of women out there going through the same thing I went through to get where I am today.”

Her cast mate Priyanka, on the other hand, saw the show as a “million dollar platform.”

“I’m a woman of opportunity,” said Priyanka, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “All of us are business women. That’s my decision and I’m sticking to it. I don’t regret anything.” 

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Petitions and hashtags calling for the cancellation of the show have been cropping up since the first episode premiered. The cast members say that the backlash has truly surprised them.

“I feel like it’s hypocrisy,” said April, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “No one is perfect. I’ve had women that I’ve never met, they’re threat messaging me. It’s unfortunate that we’re being scrutinized so harshly. I think it’s unfortunate that people think we’re exploiting our sorority.”

“If somebody says that watching this show is going to make people not want to pledge, you’re making people not want to pledge,” added Priyanka who says since the show aired, she’s received several messages asking for help joining a sorority.

Despite the enormous amount of backlash and criticism, VH1 has no plans to cancel the show and the cast members don’t seem to have any issues with that.

“I cannot get hung up in those details. I have to focus on my purpose,” Delta Sigma Theta Soror Adrene said.

Watch the full dialogue here. What do you think about their decisions?