Orange County News

UCI fraternity suspends status after 'blackface' video controversy

Thursday, May 02, 2013
Members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity at UC Irvine appear in a student-made music video.

Members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity at UC Irvine appear in a student-made music video. (KABC Photo)

A fraternity at the University of California, Irvine has suspended its status for one year following a controversial video that went viral online.

The student-made music video featured a member of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity in "blackface." The video shows members performing the Justin Timberlake song "Suit and Tie." One person appears with black makeup simulating African-American skin. Lambda Theta Delta is an Asian-American fraternity.

In a statement on Wednesday, the fraternity said it is suspending its status as a registered campus organization until fall 2014.

"This decision is mainly due to the abhorrent, insensitive and highly offensive 'blackface' video created by our members that has been circulated widely on the Internet," the statement said. "We are aware that the campus has initiated an investigation of our behavior in several videos involving racial insensitivity and alcohol use. We are cooperating fully with the University's investigation."

Fraternity members say they remain committed to repairing the harm they created. By suspending their status, the fraternity will not hold major activities, including rush activities or its annual dance competition.

"We have started planning educational programs, community dialogues, and will avail ourselves of opportunities offered by the campus to educate ourselves on racial stereotypes and our responsibility to address racism in whatever form it takes," the fraternity said.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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