The five-week reality series premieres on October 22 and will see activists go head-to-head advocating for their cause in a series of challenges culminating in a grand finale.
A barrage of public criticism followed the official announcement with people accusing CBS of exploiting the current wave of global activism and tarnishing it with the reality TV brush.
Deadline reports: “’ The Activist’ is a competition series that features six inspiring activists teamed with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment.”
missed opportunity to call this show “Oppression Olympics” https://t.co/ma75lbbtj1
— jonathan frandzone (@notallbhas) September 9, 2021
like yea using activism as a competition where it is funneled into social media influence is absolutely abhorrent and completely dilutes the importance and impacts of organizing and grassroots effors but also remember when priyanka chopra asked an activist if she was done venting https://t.co/EHtOICdXc4
— myesha thee stallion (@myeshachou) September 9, 2021
Is usher going to pay the activists with this pic.twitter.com/WeXHdv2PIB
— javi posting his L’s online (@etrnl_oblvn) September 9, 2021
Usher: “Your TikTok dance about insulin rationing was inspiring, but 90 views is pathetic. For that reason, I’m out.” https://t.co/r9hfBzKiXQ
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) September 9, 2021
Can a show get canceled based solely on ratio. What’s the precedent for this https://t.co/X3jCNCxNXZ
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) September 9, 2021
Sorry, your idea wasn’t retweeted enough, so we won’t be feeding those kids. https://t.co/K0o8wTiXCb
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) September 9, 2021
Contestants will compete in challenges to promote their individual causes with one ultimate goal: “to create impactful movements that amplify their message, drive action, and advance them to the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy.”
There they get the opportunity to mingle with world leaders and a shot at raising funds and awareness for their cause. The winner is the activist who receives the largest commitment and will be crowned at a finale with some big-name musical performances thrown in.
The backlash was swift and so heavy, Usher became a trending topic. Check out some of the responses below. Some very interesting points were made.