Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Usher and Julianne Hough are all set to co-host the Global Citizen competition series The Activist which is a five-week reality show that will pit activists against each other to vie for the coveted title. Six inspiring activists will be teamed with three high-profile public figures who will work together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education and environment, reported an online portal. However, the reality show has already courted controversy with netizens and celebs slamming the makers for turning activism into a game.
Twitter users had a bevy of questions about the show’s premise and the controversial cast including Hough who has famously donned blackface for Halloween. Celebs like Jameela Jamil, author Kimberley Drew, environmentalist and author Leah Thomas, writer and stylist Aja Barber, Naomi Klein, activist and fomer Georgia congressional candidate Nabilah Islam, rapper Donwill and several others called out the show. Check out their posts below:
What's the difference between this and an "activist" being in a paid Cadillac commercial, multiple reality TV shows, or a Grammy performance https://t.co/Srj9tif7TN
— Comorienne (@_ShamGod) September 9, 2021
that activist reality show is so fucking dystopian it’s truly amazing. what are they even gonna do? say “sorry your anti-genocide cause got booted off the show because you didn’t get enough likes”?
— friedrice engels (@markisalemonist) September 10, 2021
I think I just died a bit. They've turned activism into an Apprentice style reality show. Massively undermines everyone elses' campaigning so a few muppets can get on TV. Thanks folks. Slow clap. https://t.co/CbgVIqfEqS
— Daniel Sohege (@stand_for_all) September 10, 2021
Couldn’t they just give the money it’s going to take to pay this UNBELIEVABLY expensive talent and make this show, directly to activist causes? Rather than turning activism into a game and then giving a fraction of the much needed money away in a “prize…?” People are dying. https://t.co/GLCUZcGgfb
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) September 10, 2021
The reason dystopian stories can be uncanny is that we know that they can be real. They just often precede reality.
Such obscene shows make total sense in a disconnected, elite world where activists are nothing more than enterpreneurs-to-be. It's dehumanising. https://t.co/HYKdVw82uS
— joey ayoub #AbolishKafala (@joeyayoub) September 10, 2021
The good news is that no actual activists would be caught dead on this show. https://t.co/V2iW8AKQMm
— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) September 9, 2021
This is truly horrific, lol. A reality competition show on who can be the next Insta-activist?
It's performative at best, and kinda makes light of the hard work a lot of grassroots organisations do on the ground, on a daily basis.
— Steph (@StephanieYeboah) September 9, 2021
I'm confused: Is this an advanced Marxist critique to expose how competition for money and attention pits activists against each other + undermines deep change?
Or just the end of the world?
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) September 9, 2021
the real winner of this show is the person who gets the studio to kill it before it airs https://t.co/XIJ81SNXtm
— Donwill® New Album Out Now!! (@donwill) September 9, 2021
In order to prevent global warming, you must first seek counsel from wise R&B singer Usher on how to create a killer TikTok that will garner enough online engagement to knock out your chief rival, that bitch who wants to eradicate malaria https://t.co/l4O2yK78Kj
— christoph (@Halalcoholism) September 9, 2021
Today in "Literally Fucking No One Asked For This".
I want to know who "proposed" the idea of making activism in to a competitive sport.
Also: all three of these hosts could just open their purse to three charities,food shelters, or useful causes.
— Ms. Vanessa B!, Lv. 35 State of the Sideeye (@pleasantlytwstd) September 9, 2021
Fighting for issues is tough enough without having to dance and sing for a bunch of millionaires while they decide who’s worthy of their crumbs. Who ever thought this was a good idea should take a fucking seat. https://t.co/y5e05uuCb0
— Nabilah Islam (@NabilahforGA07) September 10, 2021
According to the network’s plot description, The Activist will see participants “go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.” The finalists will attend the G-20 summit scheduled for October 30-31 in Italy and “meet with world leaders in the hope of securing funding and awareness for their causes.”
After the severe backlash, Global Citizen issued a statement to a portal and said, “The Activist spotlights individuals who’ve made it their life’s work to change the world for the better, as well as the incredible and often challenging work they do on the ground in their communities.This is not a reality show to trivialize activism. On the contrary, our aim is to support activists everywhere, show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work, and amplify their causes to an even wider audience.”
The five-week reality series premieres at 8 p.m. Friday on October 22, on CBS and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.