The creators of a new reality TV show competing activists to promote a charitable cause backtracked Thursday and profoundly changed their project in the face of the heated controversy it has sparked in recent days.
Named “The Activist”, the show was to be broadcast on the US channel CBS in October and co-produced by the NGO Global Citizen, with stars such as singer Usher and actress Priyanka Chopra as presenters. The public was supposed to follow the adventures of «six militants» trying to “Create powerful movements” and “To bring real change to one of the three vitally important global causes: health, education and the environment”, according to the channel’s website. The candidates “Will compete in challenges”, their “Success being measured by the reception given to their online publications, the analysis of social networks and the comments of the presenters”, continued CBS.
“Couldn’t they give the money directly to the causes?”
The final was scheduled on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome at the end of October, where budding activists were to seek funding and “Raise public awareness of their cause”. This menu had given nausea to many activists, personalities and anonymous Internet users. “Couldn’t they give the money directly to militant causes, rather than turning activism into a game and giving a fraction of the money needed into one? “price”? People are dying ”, had tweeted the actress and feminist activist Jameela Jamil.
Faced with this rain of criticism, the producers announced that they were changing the format of the show, abandoning the “Challenges” and multiple episodes to make a unique documentary. “We were wrong”, apologized Global Citizen. “Activism is based on collaboration and cooperation, not competition”, acknowledged the NGO for the fight against poverty, for the preservation of the environment and for equity. “I was moved by the power of your reactions”, launched Priyanka Chopra to its 27 million subscribers on Twitter. “The show was wrong, and I’m sorry that my participation on this show disappointed so many of you”.