US reality show “The Activist” backs down after uproar
published: Sep 17, 2021 at 7:45 AM
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who had been one of the hosts of “The Activist”, admitted that the show which pitted activists against each other “was wrong”.
WASHINGTON: The creators of a new reality show pitting activists promoting charitable causes against each other were forced to change course following a massive backlash, with a high profile star apologizing on Thursday for its participation.
“The Activist”, which was announced for launch this week, was due to air on US channel CBS in October and co-produced by the non-governmental organization Global Citizen, with famous hosts such as singer Usher, actress Priyanka Chopra. and dancer Julianne Hough. .
But barely had they unveiled plans for the “groundbreaking” programming that they believed would inspire real change, the producers announced they were radically reforming the series, dropping the competitive activism-themed contests, and moving on. to a one-off documentary rather than a multi-series of episodes.
âWe were wrong,â Global Citizen said in an online apology. “Global activism focuses on collaboration and cooperation, not competition.”
CBS had said that audiences for the original show would follow the adventures of “six activists from around the world working to bring about meaningful change to one of three pressing universal causes: health, education and the environment.”
The final was due to take place at the Group of 20 World Leaders summit in Rome at the end of October.
But CBS said it recognized that the format “distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do every day in their communities” and that the concept would be reimagined as a non-competitive prime-time special.
âI have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week,â Chopra told her 27 million Twitter followers Thursday.
“The show was wrong, and I’m sorry my participation on it disappointed many of you.”
Hough, posting on Instagram, said she recognized that for some the idea of ââthe show “resembled the Olympics of oppression” and the disrespectful activists who were abused – or even killed. – fighting for their causes.
“The judgmental aspect of the show has missed the mark,” she said.