The Monday premiere of VH1’s new reality series, Sorority Sisters, drew a lot of criticism from the Black community, but not enough to get the network to cancel the show.
“There are currently no plans to change the series and it seems to be connecting with its audience,” a network spokeswoman said in a statement to The Washington Post. The numbers seem to support her theory. According to the statement, the Sorority Sisters premiere was watched by over 1.3 million people and was the most watched non-sports cable program among women ages 18 to 49.
Backlash from the show has been just as high as the viewership. Since the series was announced, people have been up in arms about the negative portrayal of Black Greek life on the show, going so far to create the hashtag, #BoycottSororitySisters. The premiere received an overwhelmingly negative reception on Twitter where viewers repeatedly criticized the show’s premise and cast.
As a result, companies such as Honda, Crayola, Carmex and Hallmark have pulled their ads from VH1 until the show is canceled. Ava DuVernay, an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, has also pulled ads of her upcoming movie, Selma, from VH1 because of the show. And an online petition calling for VH1 to cancel the series has gained over 67,000 signatures.
VH1 doesn’t seem to be phased. They will air the second episode of Sorority Sisters on Monday, December 22.