In a rare case where everyone agreed on the internet, CBS’s new show “The Activist”, which pits six activists against each other to promote various social causes, has been collectively touted as everyone’s worst idea. times when it was announced earlier this week.
Co-hosted by Priyanka Chopra, Usher and Julianne Hough, the five-week reality TV series promises to “bring about significant change,” but people immediately criticized it for being an “unnecessary distraction from the real work in progress. “, promoting a” zero-sum game ideology “and the centering of candidates instead of” marginalized groups that activists are supposed to defend “.
Now, Hough is responding to the backlash, writing in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday that she “listens deeply with an open heart and mind.”
“I heard you say there is hypocrisy in the show because at the root of activism is a struggle against capitalism and the trauma it causes to so many people and the show itself looked like a brilliant capitalist enterprise, ”Hough wrote. “I have also heard you say that trying to value one cause over another is like the Olympics of oppression and has utterly disrespected and disrespected the many activists who have been killed, assaulted and abused in various ways while fighting. for their causes. “
“And because of that there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, callousness and hurt that is rightfully felt,” she continued. “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. ”
The “Dancing with the Stars” alum also responded to critics who pointed out to her that she wore a blackface to a Halloween party in 2013 while dressed as the character “Orange Is the New Black” from Uzo Aduba as proof of why she shouldn’t be in a position of power on the show.
“Wearing blackface was a bad choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurts people and that’s something I regret doing to this day,” Hough wrote. “However, the regret with which I live is pale compared to the experiences of so many people. My commitment has been to think and act differently. Not perfectly, but I hope with a more developed understanding than racism and white supremacy are harmful to ALL people. ”
Hough explained that she signed up for “The Activist” to “be part of something that shines a spotlight on and is focused on sharing the work of activists on a bigger platform,” but is now reassessing her role. in the series.
Speaking to others involved in the show, she wrote: “I have faith and confidence in the beautiful people I have worked with will do the right thing and do the right thing to move forward.”
“Not just for the show, but for the greater good. I will continue to listen, unlearn, learn and take the time to be fully present with all that you have all shared because I don’t want to just react. I want to digest, understand and respond in a way that is authentic and aligned with the woman that I am becoming.
“I also understand that there is no answer I could share that would make everyone happy, however, I want you to know that this is a conversation and that I am always listening,” a she wrote in conclusion.
None of Hough’s co-hosts have yet responded to the controversy surrounding “The Activist,” which is still scheduled to premiere on CBS and Paramount + at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 22.
A press release describing the show said the contestants would “compete in challenges to promote their causes”, which include health, education and the environment, with their success “measured through online engagement. , social measures and the contribution of the hosts. “
Global Citizen, which produces the series, addressed the backlash in a statement to Deadline earlier this week.
“‘The Activist’ shines a light on people who have done their life’s work to change the world for the better, as well as the incredible and often difficult work they do on the ground in their communities,” said a door. -speak to the newspaper. “This is not a reality TV show to trivialize activism. On the contrary, our goal is to support activists everywhere, to show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work and to amplify their causes to an even wider audience.
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