Amanda Seales after ‘Insecure’ backlash: I am not an AKA soror

The first episode of the final season of Insecure aired on Sunday. Fans are re preparing to say goodbye to their favorite characters. Tiffany, played by Amanda Seales, is hilarious. Tiffany, and by extension Amanda, have become somewhat controversial because of the character’s association with the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Tiffany is a die hard AKA in the show. Some AKA members have gotten their panties in a bunch because in Sunday’s episode Tiffany works a Gucci ensemble in the traditional AKA colors of pink and green. Said pearl clutchers accused Amanda and HBO of an AKA trademark violation. Several sorors came to Amanda’s defense on Twitter. Amanda posted a video to her Instagram stories stating that she is not an AKA and is only playing a character. Below is what Amanda had to say via Yahoo!:

“I don’t know why people keep asking me if I’m a soror,” the actress said on her Instagram Stories on Oct. 25. “I am not a soror, Tiffany is a soror. Tiffany is a character on a TV show. I didn’t write the character, I play the character. I’m not a soror, I’m an actress and I’m playing a character on a TV show.”

“I think reality TV has really got folks f-cked up — it’s like [they think] it’s all the same,” the actress said, shaking her head. “I’m just playing a character, that’s it.”

“Y’all know that tho… but some of y’all don’t,” she highlighted. “I feel like some folks really forget it’s a TV show.”

“I am not a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. My school SUNY Purchase didn’t even have a chapter. By the time I went to grad school I was too involved in the “Mi Phi Mi” of it all… I would be honored to be a part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha but I simply am not.”

“When I play Tiffany I do wear the [pink and green] colors with pride and honor and respect for those who’ve crossed the burning sands.”

[From Yahoo!]

Listen, I have my beef with Amanda but this really isn’t one of them. I am sure what people were upset about in this instance, but then again I never pledged. I know AKAs and they understand that people play roles that represent their sororities and fraternities. When I saw the picture of Amanda’s outfit as Tiffany, my first thought was, that is an unfortunate outfit and my second thought was, ooh AKA colors. But I did not feel a way about it because I knew Amanda’s character, Tiffany, was a proud AKA. Being a soror is part of her persona.

This smack down is asinine and I agree with soror Yvette Nicole Brown (tweet below) when she said the representation was respectful. I would have preferred these folks coming for Amanda to say that they don’t want to see her representing AKA on TV. The fact people are claiming that Insecure, Issa and Amanda were in violation of the AKA trademark is absolutely ridiculous too. Issa had to insert herself into the melee, which is even more infuriating. As a fan of Insecure, I just want to celebrate the end of these characters stories and Issa Rae’s accomplishment and not fight over stupid ish like this. I hope Amanda can spend these next few weeks celebrating the end of Tiffany’s journey and not fight with these Twitter trolls.

A few tweets in her defense:

Photos via Instagram

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18 Responses to “Amanda Seales after ‘Insecure’ backlash: I am not an AKA soror”

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  1. Genevieve says:

    I loved Amanda Seales: her podcast, her book, her HBO special. My sister and i talked about her all the time and even compared thoughts and notes about her book and her podcast—both titled Small Doses. I was listening to a specific Small Doses episode one day and she recommended a Chris Brown song to her listeners. If you know Amanda, she is a feminist, she is strong willed and she’s really intelligent. I sent her an Instagram DM because I didn’t think her person and “identity” aligned with recommending a Chris Brown song and I wanted to engage with her about it. My message was kind and. Inquisitive, but she shut me down and called me a virtue signaler. I haven’t been able to think about her or even listen to her products since. It’s a little sad because I loved her!

    Anyway, I think the above is a much more worthy beef than this whole sorority nothing-burger and don’t really get why it’s a problem. Insecure is a great show written by a black woman, starring black women. The characters are diverse in their representation and it honestly seems like such a sorority move to even have an issue with color scheming. Everyone should really be better than this dumb problem.

  2. BlueSky says:

    If only these women had the same energy for you know, voting rights or the fact that students at Howard university are living in tents to protest the poor living conditions on campus.

    I like Amanda and I get why she irks people sometimes but she didn’t deserve all this. I don’t have HBO but I hear her portrayal has always been respectful. These same people would be mad if she was part of a fake sorority and would complain “how come you don’t have her portray someone in a real sorority?” I agree with Crissle. I think the real one issue is that these women don’t like her.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ BlueSky, yes!! Please direct your inappropriate rage towards issues that desperately need the your energy of support for these poor students having to live in tents on campus due to the unhealthy living conditions!! Use your voices for GOOD!!

      As for the outrage over the depiction played by Amanda, on a show no less, is ridiculous!! Are you that secure in your argument about her portrayal on a frigin’ sitcom, brilliantly written by a strong black woman, cast by all black actors, and attacking a actor for her role? Are you ready to die on this hill for this cause? Get a hold on reality please….

      • Indywom says:

        A few members of a sorority express outrage and all of a sudden a whole group of women are being told to worry about voting rights and dorm issues. Black women have been directing their rage and support over many issues in the black community for years and don’t forget it was Black women that voted against Trump and Black women who got Biden and Harris into the WH. Now why don’t you tell white sororities to use their voices about women’s rights and voting issues. Check your bias.

  3. Oh_Hey says:

    People in the community have all types of feels about AKAs and this kind of stuff is why. Like, it’s a respectful far reaching represent of you and you’re mad. It’s an HBO show with sorors (maybe not Amanda) on production – do you honestly think they didn’t check the copyright? No friends. Again – people in the black community have feels about AKAs sometimes and this dust up isn’t dispelling them

    • Riverandtree says:

      @OH_HEY exactly this! That was my first reaction when I read about the outrage on this. It’s really not helping the bad feelings/stereotypes many people have about AKAs. It seems really petty and not needed at all.

  4. Snuffles says:

    I wasn’t surprised at this at all. I have a vivid memory of my freshman year in college when I first saw the different sororities and their unique hand signs and calls. I was just talking to a friend about what I saw. Then an AKA approached me, DEADLY SERIOUS, and was like “Are you AKA? No? Then you don’t get to make those hand signs and calls. And don’t you EVER do it again.” I was flabbergasted and it completely turned me off of the idea of pledging ANY sorority.

    • PoppedBubble says:

      I was similarly turned off by it all. Plus I was not about the hazing, and after witnessing a line, I was a double nope. Thought about pledging a sorority (not necessarily AKA) as a grad student, but was too busy, and then again once professionally established. I didn’t because unfortunately, the chapter in my area was still to college-ish in their actions. I realize my experience is not representative, because I’ve also witnessed the good works done, and have lovely friends who are in sororities.

      Also, Amanda reminds me of Tiffany Haddish.

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      Girl!! It’s not just AKA’s though. It’s a LOT of sororities. I went to visit a friend at her Upstate NY campus and she and her soros were on some almost cultish, secret society type ish. They would have their own secret languages. I remember I too (in trying to support a friend who was on stage) joined in with the call and they all collectively turned their heads around in a whiplash motion and gave me the death stare, and my friend later on had to pull me aside and almost castigate me for doing “their” call. Only they are allowed to. I also asked one of her sisters one time what the initials in her sorority stood for and she *deadass* told me she couldn’t tell me because then she’d have to kill me. And she was dead serious. After that point I was so turned off with sororities in general that I never went back to her campus to visit, or hung out with her anytime her sisters were around. Our other mutual friends with her had similar experiences and all decided we’d catch up with her whenever she was by herself.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Snuffles, on my gggoooddddddd…..that’s so inappropriate and utterly disgusting that she came after you like that when you were simply talking about it, in a generalized manner, to come after you!! I can understand being proud but that is some high level aggressive attitude. DAMN!!

      Hats off to Issa though for responding to the hateful tweets by responding with such a beautiful sarcastic response!!

  5. ME says:

    I’m starting to think some people really don’t have any real problems in life. If something like this makes you upset, you have too good of a life. It’s a TV show. Sororities and Fraternities scare me. They are so cult like it’s insane.

  6. Traci says:

    This kind of energy is precisely why I stayed away from Greek life in college too. The outrage over a nice respectful portrayal of their precious sorority is simply exhausting but profoundly stupid. Yall brand ain’t going anywhere. It’s not tarnished because of the show. Lord help them.

  7. Hotsauceinmybag says:

    I know AS is divisive, but I like her. She’s **A LOT** but I’m into it. She doesn’t take shit and I admire that. Also love how they dress her on the show!

    This petty, dumb shit is the reason I didn’t join any sororities in college. Beyond the hazing (why the hell would I pay dues to get my ass beat lol) I felt like the sororities were waaaay too insular and bubble like. I’m a light skin Afro Dominican and Puerto Rican and I always got shit from the Latinx sororities for not being Latina enough and shit from the Black sororities for not being Black enough. I was over alladat halfway through the first semester of my freshman year…

    I was fortunate enough to go to and then work at a sleep away with my childhood friends who are still my best friends and also went to an all girls boarding school for HS so built some lasting and solid friendships there too. I didn’t see the value in sororities for myself, personally, but I do know they do excellent, community driven work and can be the basis for deep and meaningful friendships.

  8. Ange says:

    All of us in countries that don’t have this nonsense are shaking our heads in disbelief lol.

  9. topherben says:

    I often wonder if these frat/sorority types take themselves so seriously because no one else does? Talk about a nothing burger.

    • Indywom says:

      A few members of sorority express outrage and suddenly everyone wants to point fingers at the whole sorority. Seriously.

  10. MarcelMarcel says:

    I love Amanda Seales and enjoyed her tenure on the Real (I totally get why she left tho and Garcelle is doing an amazing job too. I love the energy of the panel this season).
    *note to self* I need to check out Amanda’s podcast and catch up on episodes of insecure.

  11. Sammiches says:

    People are mad that a character in a tv show is wearing the colours used for…a club? I dont understand this at all.