Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Being Sued By Former Member Of VH1’s Short-Lived Sorority Sisters
If you’ll recall, although it feels like forever ago, VH1 had a short-lived series on their network called Sorority Sisters. The reality show premiered back in 2014 but was axed after one episode due to an immense onslaught of criticism and petitions. The point of the series was to follow women from four different Greek-letter sororities as they deal with their responsibilities as members, everyday life, and rivalry with one another:
Nine women, who continue to honor the traditions and legacies of their respective sororities and chapters, all agree on one main principle: sisterhood doesn’t end after graduation, it’s for life. For these friends and sisters (or ‘sorors’) from celebrated historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta, strong ties to their organizations lead to fierce rivalries, but through thick and thin, these women stand united and share an unbreakable bond.
“Sorority Sisters” follows the lives of women from four different sororities. Since these ‘sorors’ are pledges for life, they are expected to continue their community work long after graduation. From long-awaited reunions, to managing the men in their lives, for these line sisters, it’s homecoming all across the ATL. These ladies have a lot at stake – their aspirations, reputations, livelihoods, friendships, and families – and the legacies of their sororities.
The backlash the series received came not only in the form of verbal disagreement, but also in expulsion of some cast members by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. They are now being sued by one of the cast members who was abruptly dismissed, and she says it was allegedly for her participation in the reality show.
According to TheJasmineBrand, Priyanka Banks brought a complaint against the sorority up in the Eastern District of New York. She claims that she learned of her expulsion through a “random Facebook posting” in January 2015 but never received a formal letter notifying her of her dismissal from DST. She says, which sounds about right, that controversy may have led to her being kicked out as VH1 is known for “rachet television.” She defined it in her suit as “using profanity, behaving violently and verbally tearing one another down.” The way the show was marketed, that definitely appeared to be what viewers were made to believe they could expect.
Banks is seeking punitive damages by accusing her former sorority of alleged defamation, breach of contract and negligence.
She said at the time the show was embroiled in controversy that she wasn’t trying to speak for Delta Sigma Theta as a whole or misrepresent her sorority, but instead, showcase herself and her own experiences as a woman who just so happened to be a member.
“I’m a woman of opportunity. This is a million dollar platform,” she said. “And of course all of us are businesswomen so I thought that that would portray us in a positive light. I am a Delta; however, I am not speaking to every Delta in my sorority. This is my story and this is my life.”