The people have spoken, and CBS has canceled “The Activist,” which was slated to be a reality competition series. CBS was chastised last week within hours of the show’s announcement for attempting to convert community advocacy into a competitive show. In addition to individuals dubbing the show’s producers “tone deaf,” Julianne Hough, one of the three judges on the show, had previously received fire for wearing “blackface” as part of a Halloween costume.
According to CNN, “The Activist was created to show a global audience the passion, long hours, and resourcefulness that activists put into improving the world, ideally motivating others to do the same,” according to CBS and production partners Global Citizen and Live Nation. However, it has become clear that the show’s concept, as announced, detracts from the critical job that these outstanding activists perform every day in their communities.” “The fight for global transformation is not a race, and it necessitates a worldwide effort. As a result, we’re altering the structure to remove the competitive element and rethinking the concept as a primetime documentary special (air date to be determined),” according to the statement.
The series had originally been set up for six activists from around the world to come together “to bring meaningful change to one of three urgent universal causes: health, education and the environment.”“The activists will compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events aimed at garnering the attention of the world’s most powerful decision-makers, demanding action now,” according to the show’s description.
Hough, Usher and Priyanka Chopra Jonas were initially set to judge the competition.“Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability, and your candor,” wrote Hough in an Instagram post. “I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind.”The new show “will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in,” and “each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show,” according to CBS’ statement.