CBS retooling ‘The Activist’ competition series after immense criticism, postpones release


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Celebrity Usher, Julianne Hough and Priyanka Chopra Jonas were originally supposed to be judge activists on the show.

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CBS has decided to reformat its upcoming series “The Activist” after it received heavy criticism for promoting demonstrative activism and being tone-deaf.

When it was announced about a week ago at CBS’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, celebrity judges Usher, Julianne Hough and Priyanka Chopra Jonas will preside over a contest in the format of “The Activist”, in which six activists will represent three causes. Represent – health education and environment, will try to raise as much awareness as possible for their cause.


The first four episodes will show him doing this in a variety of ways, including a social media campaign. The fifth and final episode will see three of the six activists selected to go to the G20 summit in Rome Diversity.

However, the use of celebrities who are not active as judges, as well as both the social media and competition element of the show, have raised many questions over the network’s motivations and benefits and viewership over CBS and its partner, Global Citizen. for important reasons.

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As a result, the two companies and Live Nation announced in a joint statement on Wednesday that the show will no longer be a competition series. Instead, it will be a one-time documentary special that still focuses on the same activists and causes, but with elements like competition and the evaluation process omitted.

The statement said, “‘The Activist’ was designed to showcase to a broad audience the passion, long hours and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.” did.” “However, it has become clear as the format of the show is announced that these incredible activists do important work in their communities every day. The push for global change is not competition and requires a global effort. “

The organization states that each worker will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice “as planned for the original show.”

The statement concludes: “Activists and community leaders around the world work every day, often without fanfare, to advance safety for people, communities, and our planet. We hope that by showcasing their work, we Will inspire more people to become more involved in addressing the world’s most important issues. We look forward to highlighting the mission and lives of each of these incredible people.”

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In its own statement, Global Citizen said: “Global activism is focused on collaboration and collaboration, not competition. We apologize to the activists, the hosts and the larger activist community – we got it wrong,” the philanthropic organization said. “It is our responsibility to use this platform in the most effective way possible to feel the change and to elevate the incredible workers who have dedicated their lives to progress around the world.”

In order to reformat the show, Variety notes that “The Activist” would have to undergo extensive reshoots, starting production almost from scratch. As a result, the series has been moved from its premiere date of October 22 to a new date that has yet to be determined.

It is also unclear whether the celebrity judge will still be a part of the project. The announcement came after Huff shared a lengthy statement on Instagram, acknowledging the criticism she and the show are receiving.

“The last few days have been a powerful display of real-time activism,” He started. “Thank you for using your voices, calling me for your accountability, and your candor. I’m listening deeply with an open heart and mind.”

He addressed the criticism directly, refraining from announcing any changes that were clearly already in the works behind the scenes.

“I hear you say there was hypocrisy in the show because at the root of activism is the fight against capitalism and the trauma that it causes so many people and the show itself feels like a blatant capitalist effort. ,” He continued. “I also heard you say that trying to value one cause over another felt like oppression Olympic and completely missed and insulted the many activists who were killed, assaulted, and Fighting for their cause faced various abuses.”

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