By Emma Dooney
Insecure's 2021 premiere has caused quite a stir online after viewers noticed one of its characters wearing AKA apparel throughout the episode.
The HBO comedy-drama series dropped the first episode of its highly-anticipated season 5 on 24 October, bringing an end to its fifteen-month-long hiatus from our screens.
Created by Youtube sensation Issa Rae in 2016, the hilarious show explores the day-to-day life of an African American millennial woman in modern-day Los Angeles. Profoundly written and stunningly shot, it's fast becoming a staple in our lineup of Sunday evening entertainment (after we've found out who left Strictly Come Dancing, of course).
Insecure's return this weekend was warmly welcomed by fans, many of whom have been waiting over a year to find out what's next for protagonist Issa Dee's love life, friendships, and career. The premiere didn't fail to disappoint, treating viewers to a couple of bombshell twists, including—spoiler alert!—Issa's breakup with her long-term boyfriend Lawrence.
However, there was one repeated detail throughout the episode that ensnared the audience's attention—and it seems they've yet to release it from their grip.
Fans were quick to notice that Tiffany DuBois, who is played by Amanda Seales, is wearing Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) apparel throughout the episode.
Amanda Seales took to Instagram to explain that though she is not a "soror," her character Tiffany is. https://t.co/nJTCt1IIxIOctober 25, 2021
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For those who aren't familiar with Greek Life, AKA is the first intercollegiate historically African American sorority to come out of the United States. Founded all the way back in 1908, it today boasts a membership of over 150,000—as well as heavyweight alumni like US Vice President Kamala Harris and actor Wanda Sykes.
Tiffany can be seen rocking the sorority's signature soft green and pink colors, along with its logo, at multiple points of the half-hour episode. These subtle wardrobe choices led to major controversy online, with some AKA members objecting to the use of their badges and crests on the fictional show. It remains unclear whether or not the organization authorized the use of the logo.
Finally watched #insecure 5/1. I’m an AKA. I wouldn’t say I feel “bothered” but there’s a twinge there. The org HAD to ok it and they very rarely do. So there’s that. But don’t discount people who feel a way. We love our AKA. 💗💚💗💚October 25, 2021
The outrage escalated to the point that Amanda Seales herself spoke out on the issue, taking to social media to clear things up.
"I don't know why people keep asking me if I'm a soror. I am not a soror," she said during an Instagram Story video. "Tiffany is a soror. Tiffany is a character on a TV show. I didn't write the character, I played the character. I am not a soror. I'm an actress and I'm playing a character on a TV show. And I think reality TV done really got folks f*cked up . . . I'm just playing a character. That's it."
While Amanda is insistent that she has no affiliation to AKA, she has no qualms with the sorority itself.
"I would be honored to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha but I simply am not. When I am Tiffany, I wear the letters with pride and regard and respect for those who did cross the burning sands." 'Cross the burning sands' refers to becoming a fully pledged member, which usually requires the successful completion of a hazing process.
Not everyone was so fast to critique Tiffany's sorority background. Some perceptive fans pointed out the double standard at play, reminding fellow viewers that Molly, Issa's best friend, has been expressing her own AKA pride for years.
Molly had AKA paraphernalia in her office for years - So why the outrage now? #InsecureHBO #Insecure pic.twitter.com/tej520rdzkOctober 25, 2021
If you're interested in catching a glimpse of what all the fuss is about, Insecure's Season Five premiere—as well as its previous four seasons—is available to watch on HBO Max right now.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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