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When we think of Will Ferrell, we generally think of his off-the-wall, fearlessly goofy side. But while appearing in Austin, Texas, to promote his new movie "Get Hard," Ferrell showed a serious side when a fan asked about college fraternities during a New York Times Q&A.
"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," the comedian said.
The fan asked Ferrell for some of his positive Delta Tau Delta experiences (Ferrell pledgedwhile at the University of Southern California), in the hopes of showing a good side of frats now that numerous stories have come to light about racially-charged and dangerous frat behavior, specifically the singing of racist songs by members of the now-disbanded University of Oklahoma's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter.
But he didn't quite get the answer he seemed to be angling for.
"[W]hen you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary," Ferrell continued. 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. But you gotta be careful."
Still, Ferrell did temper his answer by noting that he did have a good nontraditional frat experience. "I was lucky in that the one I was in, we were really kind of the anti-fraternity fraternity. ... 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. 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."