Producers touted it as an exciting new twist on reality TV: an X-Factor-style competition between activists that will give them the chance to lobby world leaders at the G20.
But The Activist, a show announced last week by US broadcaster CBS, has already learned the hard way that popular power can be unpredictable, ruthless and highly effective.
Amid a storm of protests that the show’s concept is a “dystopian” celebration of “Instagram activism,” one of the celebrities lined up to judge the contest admitted that the show “missed the mark. target âand that she was not qualified for it. role in it – not least because she once wore a blackface for Halloween.
Julianne Hough, a dancer and actress known for judging Dancing with the Stars and America’s Got Talent, said the explosion of criticism had been “a powerful display of real-time activism.”
“I heard you say that the show was performative, promoted pseudo-activism rather than real activism, felt deaf to tone … and that the hosts were not qualified to assess activism, because we are celebrities and not activists, âshe said in an Instagram statement Wednesday.
Hough added: âI also heard you say that trying to value one cause over another was like the Olympics of oppression, and utterly disrespected and disrespected the many activists who were killed, assaulted and confronted. to various abuses while fighting for their causes.
“I do not claim to be an activist and I wholeheartedly agree that the judgment aspect of the show missed the mark, and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge. “
Co-produced by Global Citizen, an international advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty, the show will feature six activists teaming up with high-level mentors, then competing to champion a particular cause for a ” significant change â.
The participants, who will be judged not only on their ideas but also on their online engagement and social measures, will travel to the G20 summit in Italy in October where, according to the press release, they will seek “funding and an invaluable awareness for their cause â.