CBS’s ‘The Activist’ Reality Competition Show Gets Axed After Internet Complains, Proving Activism Actually Works?

What do Usher, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, Julianne Hough, and Greta Thunberg have in common? Nothing. That’s probably why The Activist, a new competition reality show on CBS, got reamed by the internet the moment it was announced. (Wow, cancel culture got it right?)

Done in the style of Tough as Nails, The Activist set out to pit up-and-coming activists against each other in an elimination-style competition lorded over by a panel of expert judges (being the aforementioned celebrities, minus Thunberg). Because nothing supports the important challenges we face today like a celebrity-driven show that pits pressing issues against each other for a cash prize within a corporate hierarchy filled with commercials about trucks and fast food.

Nice try, CBS.

After the tsunami of hate came crashing down upon the show’s stupid face, the producers, which include Global Citizen, Live Nation, and Deviants Media decided to abandon ship and issue this apology:

“Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community – we got it wrong. It is our responsibility to use this platform in the most effective way to realize change and elevate the incredible activists dedicating their lives to progress all around the world.”

But just like any single-celled organism, the show is now finding a second life as a documentary, presumably as a way to highlight what not to do. (And also to make back some of the money producers spent developing the show.)

Hilariously, Hough, a reality show maven, also issued her own apology writing, “there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and hurt that is being rightfully felt” concluding “I’m not qualified to act as judge.” Which is exactly what she didn’t say when she took the job.

Aww. We almost feel bad for corporations trying to get in on a good cause just for optics. In this hectic, oversaturated world, it’s sometimes hard to know what even is the right thing to do. But in this case, we’re pretty sure the right thing is to skip this ill-conceived monstrosity altogether no matter how badly we want to hate-watch it while inhaling an entire deep-dish pizza topped with veal.

Cover Photo: CBS

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