Faced with criticism, the American network transforms the television game show “The Activist” with Priyanka Chopra into a documentary

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After becoming the target of online criticism, the series “The Activist”, which stars Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas among many others, is being reconfigured and will now become a special documentary instead of a competition series of five episodes.

Usher, Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Hough. Photo: Collected

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Usher, Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Hough. Photo: Collected

After becoming the target of online criticism, the series “The Activist”, which stars Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas among many others, is being reconfigured and will now become a special documentary instead of a competition series of five episodes.

While footage for the show’s original incarnation has already been filmed, this version of “The Activist” will be entirely new, with filming set to start from scratch, varie.com reports.

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The show, originally scheduled as a series on October 22, had faced serious heat since Usher, Julianne Hough and Priyanka were announced as hosts late last week.

Social media users and opinion writers had spoken of the competitive nature of a show meant to celebrate and encourage activism, among other concerns.

In a joint statement, CBS Network and producer partners Global Citizen and Live Nation announced the format change, saying, “’The Activist’ was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours and ingenuity. that activists set to change the world, hope to inspire others to do the same.

“However, it has become evident that the format of the broadcast being advertised distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do every day in their communities. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort. .

“As a result, we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a special prime-time documentary (release date to be announced).”

He added: “It will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have in championing causes in which they deeply believe. Each activist will receive a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show. “

The joint statement concludes by saying that activists and community leaders around the world work every day, often without fanfare, to advance the protection of individuals, communities and our planet.

“We hope that by showcasing their work, we inspire more people to become more involved in solving the world’s most pressing problems. We look forward to shining a light on the mission and lives of each of these incredible people. “

Global Citizen issued its own separate statement which included an apology.

“Global activism focuses on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts and the activist community at large and ‘we were wrong,” the philanthropic organization said .

“It is our responsibility to use this platform in the most effective way to effect change and uplift the incredible activists who dedicate their lives to progress all over the world.”

The concept for ‘The Activist’ was announced in May but, with no celebrity names attached, had hardly gained attention at the time.

Details of the show had not changed when the hosts were announced last week, but this time it was brought to light with the competitive aspect sparking anger and accusations that the use of measures of the social media to judge the winners amounted to a celebration of “click-tivism”.

The series format had six activists representing three causes – health, education and the environment – who took on challenges to raise awareness of these issues in the first four episodes.

For the fifth and final episode, three of the six activists should have been chosen (one representative from each zone) to go to the G20 summit in Rome at the end of October and meet with world leaders to personally defend their causes.

Performances by well-known musicians were also reportedly featured in the climaxing episode.

The documentary version should focus on the same activists but without the “challenges” or ratings.

Representatives of the network and production entities declined to address the creative aspects of the show’s reconfiguration, saying the practical issues of restarting production with a simpler documentary concept would be addressed after the initial word was out. that the reviews of “The Activist” have been heard.

Hough had previously addressed the show’s growing legion of detractors, posting a four-part post to his Instagram account.


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