‘The Activist’ to be changed into a documentary after social media backlash

September 22nd, 2021

The Activist was originally supposed to be a show wherein activists are pitted against each other to fund their own causes, but the creators of the show received backlash on social media for the concept. The creators admitted that they “got it wrong,” so they’ve decided to scrap the show’s concept in favor of turning it into a documentary. 

It was set to premiere on October 22, 2021, with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Usher, and Julianne Hough as the judges for the show. 

In a joint statement, CBS and production partners Live Nation and Global Citizen said that the original concept of the show “distracts” from the work that activists do and that the “push for global change” is not a competition.

Originally, The Activist was supposed to be a reality show spanning five weeks. The show would have had six contestants, activists who would compete against one another in challenges. Their success in the show would be measured in the form of metrics, including how they perform on social media. 

Both the show’s format and its judges were met with criticism. Cristina Jiménez, the co-founder of a youth-led advocacy group for immigrant children called United We Dream, said that the show was a “mockery” of what activists do. 

The new format for the show will be a primetime documentary special on six activists, their work and their causes, and each activist will be given a cash grant. 

Global Citizen issued a public apology on Twitter for the original reality show format. “We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community — we got it wrong,” the organization said in a statement. 

Even with the creators scrapping the reality show concept, people’s reactions to the documentary idea is still mixed. Some are happy with the creators’ decision, while some are still skeptical and think that the show itself is a terrible idea to begin with. 


Since The Activist will no longer be a reality show, it’s unclear now what role the three judges would play in the new documentary concept. The air date for the documentary will be announced at a later date. 


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