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Adrene of controversial reality TV show, ‘Sorority Sisters,’ apologizes to Delta Sigma Theta

adrene

VH1’s newest reality show “Sorority Sisters” seemed like a familiar continuation to the network’s lineup of television shows. The first episode drew 1.3 million viewers, but just several episodes later what producers thought would blossom into a profitable addition to the “Love & Hip Hop” and “Basketball Wives” franchise was removed from the air. The backlash from viewers and advertisers became a nightmare for five cast members representing prestigious sororities, including Adrene Ashford, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

Ashford, the owner of House of Adrene Boutique and cast member of the former reality show, “Sorority Sisters,” breaks her silence after her expulsion from her sorority. In her recent interview with rolling out, Ashford claps back at the critics for accusing her of misrepresenting the true essence of sisterhood. She also gives us the inside scoop on the harsh realities she is facing after the show in a tearful discussion.

Check out the highlights.  –lauren martinez

How Adrene got her start in the fashion entertainment industry …

I worked as a celebrity stylist with Jennifer Hudson for a few years, Ciara and everyone in the music industry and also television and film. I have 15 years vested in the fashion industry. My story started off as a small fashion party in my midtown apartment and that grew into a boutique, which then evolved into fashion styling. My first gig was the Sean John Collection show outside of Lenox Mall several years ago.

Why she joined the cast of “Sorority Sisters”…

I was approached by someone else who is in a sorority about the idea of a show where multiple women that are of various organizations including my own as an opportunity for us to tell our stories and talk about the business lives that we have. Naturally, anything that deals with a business opportunity to expand my brand is something that I am very interested in. I didn’t really know what to expect from the show. I saw it as an opportunity to expand the Adrene brand, so in the initial tapings they were all filmed in my store. I followed the lead of the producers in terms of what the direction of the show was. I think the sorority tie was more of a backdrop and that is the commonality that all of the cast members had. We all had our individual stories to tell and I think that was more of the focus.

On the backlash received from the show …

The backlash was not something that I expected in this way. I would have never thought it would come to this. I have a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to the show. It is a very sensitive subject for me. There was some humiliation and I was very devastated. This year would be 20 years invested in Delta for me. This is my whole adult life. My friend and I have built some serious bonds and I don’t know if they will be the way they were before the show started. There were a lot of my sorors, including my line sisters who called me and said, “ I don’t agree with the show but I know you and I support you.” That to me represents true friendship and true sisterhood. When a person can say I may not agree with all the decisions you have made but I still love you, that’s sisterhood! You have to be sisterly for someone to be sisterly towards you.

On the final verdict made by nationals …

I don’t believe that my voice was heard by nationals. There was not any direct dialogue between nationals and myself. I would love to have had a hearing before the final expulsion. I think we live in a fair country and I think that one of the beautiful things about America is that we have choices. That is how I saw my interaction and involvement with the show. I never once thought, “Hey, I’m a Delta!” “I’m going to show them what Delta is about.” It was never that for me. I would really like to share that with national and the powers that be. I would love to have the opportunity to have my voice heard and give them the opportunity to ask me questions directly as to what their issues are. I do understand that there are issues. I am willing to approach, talk about it, and discuss it.

On her apology to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc …

I apologize to all sorors and Delta Sigma Theta for any offense that I have made them feel. I didn’t intend to offend the sorority in any way. My decision to go on the show was purely a business decision for the betterment of my brand. I’ve been working on it for as long as I’ve been a soror and as a business you’re always looking to evolve. I took a step to evolve. My involvement in that was telling my story and I can’t really tell my story without having a reference or mentioning that I am a Delta, because that is significant to my story. I think a lot of reasons why I am a great businesswoman is because I pledged and because of some of the principles and the relationships that I developed through Delta in my business world and in my personal life. It was never my intent to offend or misrepresent my sorors of Delta Sigma Theta in my involvement on the show. I want to graciously say, “I have been a proud member and have been for 20 years with Delta Sigma Theta.”

 



5 Comments

  1. Cee Shaw on February 6, 2015 at 6:13 am

    I accept your apology and I am brought to tears by your maturity and seemingly genuine and open communication about your experience. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. I am praying you get the opportunity to have a dialogue with representatives from our National organization and may it rest in God’s hands.

  2. Indii Quene on February 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I love your story, you are living my dream. I pray that you get the opportunity to defend your actions with our National organization. I did not agree with the show, but you seem to be very genuine. Thanks for caring enough to share. God Bless!

  3. DST1913 on February 9, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Soror, no apology needed, I do not believe that it was intentional in anyway to be offensive to our beloved sisterhood. I do however, think that it is unfair for your voice to be unheard by Nationals. I truly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to defend him/herself, especially before a final and permanent decision is to be made. I pray for you and I pray that God will touch the hearts of our sisters and that the opportunity will be granted. I also pray that God will lead you and direct every decision that you are to make in every aspect of your life. Once a Delta, always a Delta for life. Delta Sigma Theta is a Lifetime Commitment. TTBOD.

  4. JustSayin on April 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    It would have been nice if the apology had come from you on the show, when all of the cast members were together discussing the negative responses received from the BGLOs. I seem to remember you saying something to the effect of, you had no regrets and that you would do it again.

  5. lasaundrawatson on April 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I think that this story was more complex than is expressed here. The executive body of Delta Sigma Theta expressed its discontent before the show aired…remember those vile Youtube trailers? The show was insulting, degrading and deeply offensive. I was annoyed that National (no “s” please) so long to act definitively. As for “just representing yourself” …you were on the show because you were a Delta and every “F-bomb”, every instance of ratchet behavior blew back on all of us. It not enough to say “sorry.”