The Alpha Phi sorority chapter at the University of Alabama removed its recruitment video and deleted all of their social media accounts after receiving an onslaught of criticism.
The video, which many claimed objectifies young women – and was even deemed “worse for women than Donald Trump” in a scathing op-ed – amassed 500,000 views on YouTube in the first week it was posted.
Other YouTube users have re-uploaded the video since it was taken down this week.
The video, which features a glittery gaggle of bikini-clad girls dancing around to electro-pop music, was meant to attract fellow University of Alabama students to the sorority ahead of Bid Day. But the news following the video release wasn’t on the high production value, but rather the lack of diversity and image of women that it portrays.
The controversy was initially sparked when a writer, A.L. Bailey, wrote an op-ed on AL.com calling out the video for featuring “racially and aesthetically homogeneous” young women; the video overwhelmingly shows white girls with blonde hair.
Bailey went further, comparing the level of objectification in the video to remarks presidential candidate Donald Trump has made, referring to his feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and the content of the questions she asked him at the first GOP debate two weeks ago. The op-ed questioned the value of the sorority, asking, “Are they recruiting a diverse and talented group of young women embarking on a college education? Upon first or even fifth glance, probably not.”
However, not everyone shares Bailey’s harsh criticism of the video.
The associate vice president for university relations released a statement about the controversy, saying, “The video is not reflective of UA’s expectations for student organizations to be responsible digital citizens. It is important for student organizations to remember what is posted on social media makes a difference, today and tomorrow, on how they are viewed and perceived.”
The University of Alabama released a press release on Saturday with statistics regarding fall sorority recruitment. According to the press release, 93% of the women who registered for recruitment received bids from the sororities on campus.
“Of the total number of women who accepted bids, 214 were minorities, a number that increased by nearly 13% . And, the number of African-American students who received bids increased by 19%, to 25%,” the university said in the press release.