Star of Upcoming HBO Doc 'Bama Rush' Says Directors Misled and Blindsided Her
A TikToker and college student who was originally set to star in HBO Max’s Bama Rush documentary has spoken out against the doc’s creators, saying they misled and blindsided her.
The documentary, directed by Rachel Fleit (Introducing, Selma Blair) and which is set to be released on May 23rd, follows four young women as they prepare to rush at the University of Alabama. “Bama Rush” became a meme in 2021 after videos of sorority girls sharing videos of their experiences and daily lives (get ready with me videos, outfit of the day videos, and videos of sorority shenanigans) during the process went viral on TikTok. Because these types of videos do well, the algorithm pushed these videos out to users who found themselves wondering why they were seeing videos from sorority girls in Alabama.
@torikonchel ?philan-tro-py day 2?#greenscreen #rush #bama #bamarush #alabama #recruitment ? ChooseYourCharacter By Jim Walter - Brittany Marsicek @claraholleman #bamarush #bama #ua #sororityrecruitment ? ITs ANIT new girlfriend of your ex - R E D H E A D P O W E R
Shelby Rose, a freshman at the University of Alabama, took to TikTok to voice her concerns about the upcoming documentary. As Rose explains, the team behind the documentary reached out to her during her senior year of high school, and she described the experience as initially positive, largely because she was led to believe the documentary was “very different to what it ended up becoming.”
In the end, Rose stopped filming with the doc crew during Rush Week because what they were doing “did not align” with her morals and values. She goes on to explain that she does not agree with any of the negative things said in the documentary about the school, campus life, or the school’s panhellenic association, and adds that she was “blindsided” by the negativity and has lost a lot of trust in everyone involved in producing the documentary.
@shelby.rose4 This is the truth and my story. This is something that has made me mentally and physically sick for a very long time. I am thankful I left when I did and pray for every UA girl in a sorority right now. I always want to spread a positive light in the world. #bamarush #bama #bamarushdoc #bamarushweek #bamarushtok #college #fyp #foryoupage ? original sound - SHELBY ROSE
While the documentary has yet to be released, the trailer doesn’t pull any punches, showing girls speaking candidly about their fears, anxieties, and concerns around going to college and getting into a sorority, and also features students of color speaking openly about the racism they’ve dealt with at the University of Alabama and in the Greek system (one student in the trailer says, “Everyone here will just look at you when you have any color in you” while another said “The culture here is fuckin’ weird”; the school only ordered sororities to end their discriminatory segregation practices in 2013).
Since the trailer dropped, other students have taken to TikTok to share their experiences in the Greek system at Alabama. Amanda Evans shared a video explaining why she decided to drop her sorority, citing pressures and restrictions around social media activity as one of her reasons for leaving - she says that despite only ever posting positively about her sorority, the sorority leadership constantly took issue with her content.
@amandaevans_xoxo Little update for y’all #fyp #bamarush #idroppedmysorority #sororitylife #sororitygirls #sororityrush #sororityrecruitment #update #news ? original sound -
Meanwhile, a student of color shared a video expressing regret that she wasn’t asked to appear in the documentary and shared her story about being treated as a token within the Crimsonettes, the school’s marching band.
@briannawimer #duet with @hbomax #bamarush ♬ original sound - hbomax
Fans of sorority girl drama can check out the documentary, which will almost certainly be accompanied by other students taking to social media to do damage control, when it debuts on HBO Max on May 23.