Global Citizen has offered an unconditional apology after their recently announced reality competition show ‘The Activist’ invited intense criticism on social media. American network CBS also announced that it is changing the format of the series to a one-time documentary. The Activist has been drawing flak from certain sections for “monetisation, commodification and trivialisation” of activism. While some labelled the series as insensitive and tone-deaf, others called the show’s concept a “dystopian” celebration of “Insta-activism”.
Following the backlash, the makers have decided to change the format and thus the show will be shot again. In a statement shared on Twitter, they said, “The Activist was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same."
"However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort.”
The statement further read, “As a result, Global Citizen said, it would be ‘changing the format’ of the show to ‘remove the competition element’ and instead reshape it into a ‘primetime documentary special’. It will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organisation of their choice, as was planned for the original show.”
“We hope that by showcasing their work we will inspire more people to become more involved in addressing the world’s most pressing issues. We look forward to highlighting the mission and lives of each of these incredible people,” the statement concluded.
A message from Global Citizen on "The Activist." pic.twitter.com/CSODAwiIdR— Global Citizen (@GlblCtzn) September 15, 2021
The makers also apologised to the three judges - Priyanka Chopra Jonas, American singer-songwriter Usher, and Dancing with the Stars star Julianne Hough, for getting them involved in the controversy.
Priyanka Chopra has since been silent on the controversy whereas Julianne Hough released a statement in which she admitted that she wasn't qualified to judge activism, and said that she is willing to listen and learn.
For the unversed, The Activist was slated to be a reality show on which six contestants, divided into three teams of two each, would fight for their chosen ‘cause’. Each team would be aided by one of the show’s famous hosts. The activist teams would be given challenges. The reward for bringing the ‘cause’ to fruition would be measured by online engagement, social metrics, and the hosts’ inputs. This entire format invoked massive criticism on social media.
The Activist, which was announced last week, was set for premiere on October 22.
Image Source: Instagram//priyankachopra