HBO Bama Rush: Documentary or Disappointment?

Leslie Klein | Features Editor


The biggest scandal at The University of Alabama for nearly the past year has been the
rumors surrounding
HBO’s sorority rush documentary, which aired May 23, 2023. The
documentary was rumored to expose the
University’s sorority recruitment system for their
negative tendencies. While every
one was awaiting the day that they could cozy up and get the
inside scoop of
all the toxic habits that supposedly go on inside recruitment, HBO had other


The biggest question floating around right now is, does the documentary, as claimed,
change Greek life as we know it.
In short, no. While the trailer portrayed the documentary as a
story that will discuss the
toxicity going on behind sororities at The University of Alabama, it
over the surface of the problems that viewers were most intrigued by. Morgan Shriver,
rising senior at
The University of Alabama says, “I wonder why they didn’t deep dive into


Most people who were waiting for the documentary to release were disappointed that it
did not live up to their
expectations. Angelique Hays, a rising junior at The University of
labama says, “I thought it was actually going to expose something crazy, but instead it hardly
even caught my attention
. The rumors that formed around the production of the documentary
as invasive as HBO sending in spies disguised as PNM’s (girls with plans to rush) to
infiltrate the process and expose the true reality
. While this was only a rumor, it had countless
, especially those in sororities, in a chokehold.


According to the director, Rachel Fleit, the documentary did not intend to expose Greek
life’s deep dark secrets. It was meant to be about what being a young woman is
like, and she
decided to tell the story through the
lens of each of the young women presented in the
. It is evident to most viewers that Fleit inserted her own experiences and ideas into
film many times, and to what end? While some think it was to bring awareness to individual
, others simply do not care. Meredith Griffin, Assistant General Manager at Holiday
nn Express says, “she (Fleit) was out of place. She inserted herself a little too much, and I feel
like it distracted from the original purpose.


There is suspicion that HBO was shot down by the University when attempting to dive
deeper, and then played it off as
if that was never a part of the plan. While we can never know
for sure, serious questions have begun to arise surrounding the topics HBO did not discuss.
Chloe Kilpatrick, a rising junior at The University of Alabama says, “How are they going to
skim over everything we don’t know and tell everything we already know? It seems kind

of sketchy in my opinion.”


While the documentary did not live up to its potential in the eyes of many viewers, it does
tell a story
. Although its purpose was not what people thought it should have been, it was not
irely bad. Hays says, “I wish it talked more about the real problems going on, but you can’t
always win.
At least it somewhat got across a few experiences.” Regardless of the individual
reactions to the documentary, it did help others gain interest in the Greek life system at UA.
With the traction that the documentary gained, who knows, we might have deeper information

before we know it.


Leslie Klein is a rising Junior at The University of Alabama. She is majoring in
Communication with a minor in creative writing. After college, she plans to move to

Massachusetts and
gain experience to discover her purpose!