Julianne Hough Responds To Backlash Over Reality Show ‘The Activist’
Julianne Hough responded to criticism over a new reality show she will be judging, The Activist. The series will feature six activists who will be competing to “bring meaningful change to one of three urgent universal causes: health, education and the environment,” according to a press release put out by CBS. “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.”
The show has been getting criticized by both social media users for being a bad idea that makes light of the actual plight of real-world activists. Its star-studded judges’ panel has also been slammed for agreeing to appear on the show.
Hough posted a four-page response on her Instagram account acknowledging the concerns people have about the show. In the post, she agrees that she is not qualified to judge activism.
“I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge,” she said.
Hough also addressed a past controversy of when she wore blackface in 2013, stating that it was “a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurt people and is something I regret doing to this day.”
Hough went on to say that she originally agreed to join the show because she was “really excited to be a part of something that highlights, and is centered around sharing activists’ work on a larger platform. In doing so, I felt it would help educate, mobilize, and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism because many worthy causes need attention, funding, and most importantly the power to effect real change.”
Twitter users have been calling out the show as a poor idea that will make light of activism by turning into a game and only giving the prize money to one cause.
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
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
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
After a sizeable blowback to the announcement of the show, its producer, Global Citizen, addressed the controversy.
“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,” the statement read. “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 Activist premiers Oct. 22 on CBS and Paramount +.
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