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The Activist: The Show With A Shaky Start



The Activist, produced by Global Citizen and Live Nation, received much backlash since its announcement last week. On the five-week series, six activists would compete to bring change in either health, education, or the environment. These activists would compete in challenges helping in these causes, with their successes measured from online engagement, social metrics, and the hosts’ input. The activists deemed as the most impactful would attend the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy. Once there, they would meet with world leaders to convince them to give funding and bring awareness for their causes. In the end, every activist would receive a cash grant to give to an organization of their choice. Whoever is granted the largest commitment would be deemed the winner.


Some part of the backlash came from the judges of the show, which include Julianne Hough, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Usher. People were questioning why celebrities were judging a show centered on activism in the first place. Julianne Hough herself received a lot of criticism for her use of blackface in her 2013 costume of a character from the drama, Orange Is the New Black. She apologized for her actions soon after the occurrence and again after the shows’ announcement. An additional factor for the backlash came from people viewing the series as a show enforcing performative activism. Some criticizers viewed the show as a way to become the next Insta-activist. People thought that the show would lighten the hard work of organizations that do work on activism on a daily basis.


Global Citizen responded to the hate, changing the competitive reality show into a docuseries. They felt that the original format of the show would be a distraction to the work of the activists. The series will now feature six activists and their effects on the causes they believe in, and all will still get cash to give to an organization of their choosing. The creators are hoping that the series will give viewers a look at activism and inspire others. They also realize that unity and collaboration globally are vital, which is another reason for the change of the show’s style. The show was originally planned to air on October 22 but is now going to air on a new date yet to be announced


Research Coordinator - Jezreel gaad

Editor - Vaishnavi Bhojane

Graphic Designer - Angeline Saleh


Sources:

Activist' Changed to Documentary After Massive Blowback

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com › tv-news › cbs-ca…


er, Priyanka Chopra & Julianne Hough Set For 'The Activist

https://deadline.com › 2021/09 › usher-priyanka-chopr…


Activist: 'tone-deaf' new TV show has ... - The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com › global-development › sep


Activist' TV Show is 'Changing the Format' Following ...

https://www.rollingstone.com › tv-news › the-activist-c…




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