Unpacking Insecure's Unexpected Drama With the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Insecure's Amanda Seales sparked a surprising reaction online after her character wore the colors belonging to Alpha Kappa Alpha in the season five premiere. Here's everything we know so far.

By Alyssa Ray Oct 27, 2021 1:09 AMTags
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As Issa Dee once said, "Wasn't expecting that, huh?"

Following the season five premiere of Insecure on Sunday, Oct. 24, the HBO comedy is facing criticism from Alpha Kappa Alpha for using colors and crests associated with the sorority. Specifically, the episode featured Issa (played by co-creator Issa Rae)—her friends Molly (Yvonne Orji), Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) and Tiffany (Amanda Seales)—returning to alma mater Stanford University for a reunion.

In the episode, Tiffany wore the signature pink and green colors, as well as the letters, of Alpha Kappa Alpha—implying that the character was a member of this sorority. This seemed to upset real-life members of the sorority (and others), with one viewer writing, "No Amanda Seales don't have my letters on… wardrobe has gone too far."

Another commented, "Amanda Seales is an AKA right??"

After similar tweets sparked questions about Seales' connection to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the actress eventually took to her Instagram Story and clarified: "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."

She further noted in a different social media post, "When I am Tiffany, I do wear the letters with pride and regard and respect for those who crossed the burning sands."

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In support of Seales, Rae chimed in by joking about pulling a future episode from HBO. "Oh s--t," she commented in a since deleted tweet. "Let me tell @HBO to delete one of the upcoming episodes then, hold on."

So why are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha so upset? Well as the organization's website explains, the sorority's symbols are federally registered trademarks, including its "badge, the coat of arms (Sorority crest), the name Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Inc.), the name Ivy Leaf, the sound Skee-Wee and the term Fashionetta."

Many have since come to Rae and Seales' defense, suggesting that the Insecure team likely secured permission to use the colors and symbols in the season five premiere.

For instance, one fan weighed in on Twitter, "Listen. I am just going to assume @IssaRae and HBO took the correct legal steps in even having Amanda Seales wearing the colors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Either way AKA gon get that coin on the front or back end depending on how the copyrights and patents are set up."

Another pointed out that Seales' co-star Orji once used an AKA mug in a different episode of the series.

E! News has reached out to AKA and HBO for comment.

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Insecure airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.

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