Will Ferrell, Former Fraternity Brother, Wants to Ban College Greek Life After University of Oklahoma’s Racist Chant

Will Ferrell
Former fraternity brother Will Ferrell suggests that Greek life should be banned from all colleges — get the details Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Frank the Tank is tired of the Greek system. Will Ferrell, who is a former Delta Tau Delta fraternity brother, is suggesting that all college campuses ban the social clubs.

The Zoolander 2 star made the comments during a New York Times Q&A in Austin, TX., at SXSW while discussing the University of Oklahoma racism chant, which went viral earlier this month. In the disturbing clip, Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter fraternity brothers sing that no African-Americans will be allowed into SAE. The university's President David Boren shut down the frat and has already expelled two students.

"The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity," Ferrell, 47, said on Monday, Mar. 16. "Because when you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary. Fraternities were started as academic societies that were supposed to have a philanthropic arm to them. And when it’s governed by those kind of rules, then they’re still beneficial."

Will Ferrell in Old School
Will Ferrell in 2003's Old School DreamWorks/Everett Collection

Ferrell has only good memories from his own college glory days, however. The actor was a member of Delta Tau Delta at the University of Southern California in the early '80s. (In 2003, he parlayed those memories to portray party leader Frank in the comedy Old School, in which he and his buddies opened a fraternity next to their alma mater.)

"I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity," he said. "We couldn't get anyone to vote on anything, but if you needed 40 guys to show up and build a 20-foot-tall papier-mâché version of the Matterhorn, we were there and ready."

He added: "But we didn’t take it too seriously. It was just about having fun. But I think it’s an interesting dilemma for universities these days."

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