Co-hosted by Usher and Julianne Hough, the CBS series was widely criticised by global activists for its ‘exploitative’ and 'performative' nature.
The CBS show The Activist, which had ironically earned the ire of activists across the globe, has seemingly given in to the criticism it was subject to and changed the format of its upcoming series. The show’s producers Global Citizen and Live Nation released a statement announcing their decision to remove the competition element from it and air it as a documentary.
The statement also acknowledged the lapse of judgement on their part and offered an apology to activists and the show's hosts Usher, Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Hough, who were also targeted during the public outrage. The statement also reiterated that the participating activists would be awarded in cash for their respective causes.
Initially announced as a five-week-long reality series, The Activist was previously said to follow six activists teaming up with public figures as they tried to generate traction for their causes, through social media and enlisting leaders at the G20 global summit in Rome.
The show’s premise had drawn flak for being 'performative' and 'exploitative', among other things. The concept of using social media engagement as a criterion for measuring the impact of activists efforts too was the subject of widespread criticism, with many saying that it tarnished the image of the noble profession. The hosts too were not spared from the same.
Pleased to announce I’ll be on the debut season of “The Activist,” working against my fellow activists to be the best activist, with Usher as my mentor.— micah (@micahinATL) September 10, 2021
A better world is possible, we just have to be willing to duel with other activists to the death, for entertainment!
In response to the criticism, host Julianne Hough had taken to Instagram to offer an apology for her involvement in the show, saying that she had ‘listened to their concerns' and elaborated that the reason why she chose to do the show is that she wanted to be a part of something that could lead to real change. However, Priyanka Chopra Jonas has not commented on the issue yet.
The new air date of the docu-series is yet to be announced.