In a post on their website, the network disclosed that the series “The Activist” would see activists from around the world working to address health, educational and environmental issues.
“One thing seems clearer than ever: Planet Earth is a singular village, demanding if not relying on individual engagement.”
“From the Global Citizen movement comes an awe-inspiring look at what can come of it. The Activist pairs advocates from the worlds of health, education, and the environment with famous figures in a series of competitions that’ll take the winners—and their ideas for seismic world change—to the G20 Summit in Italy,” the post noted.
Social Media Users Feels ‘It’s All For Profit’
Many people on social media have lambasted the show for seeking to profit from actual critical issues the world is facing. In the same light, many also criticized the series for masking philanthropy and activism as showbiz.
On Twitter, the comments were mostly in dismay when Film Updates posted an announcement of the show.
“This premise is so gross and cynical — they’ve tethered their viewer engagement metrics together with Who Cares the Most at its foundation. I feel sick.” Best-selling author Trung Lê Capecchi-Nguyá wrote.
Congressman Jamaal Bowman also wrote.”I’m gonna activate the block button if I see any of y’all watching this mess.”
Model and activist, Jameela shared her thoughts on the post;
“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.”
“Framing activism as a competitive sport is a massive insult to every single person trying to make the world a little better in their own ways. Actually gross,” another Twitter user wrote.
What The Producers Had To Say
Contrary to popular opinion on Twitter, the studio execs and producers had nothing but praise for the show.
In a press release, CBS’ Executive Vice President of Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming, Jack Sussman, raved about the show.
“Combining philanthropy and entertainment, The Activist is a ground-breaking series poised to inspire viewers,” he said.
Usher, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Julianne Hough will host competition series ‘The Activist’.
Activists go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) September 9, 2021
Live Nation Entertainment’s CEO, Michael Rapino, also expressed that The Activist would not only enlighten the audience on critical issues in the world, it would also spread awareness and advice viewers on how they can play their part in fixing the problems.
“Combining competition and compassion, these essential causes will take center stage, as the show proves that there are no issues we can’t solve when we work together and demand change,” he stated.
The CEO and co-founder of Global Citizen, Hugh Evans, also remarked that the series which is the first of its kind will inspire real change, and the contestants would all have the chance to make an impact on urgent issues in the society.
“The audience will see the contestants’ passion and commitment for their causes tested as they petition world leaders to take urgent action to resolve the interconnected crises we face,” he stated.
The series would revolve around six inspiring activists who would be split into three teams. Each team would have a high-profile public figure as its head.
The teams will compete to improve one of three grave global issues not limited to education, health, or the environment. Their performance would then be judged on how well they can campaign successfully for the cause they chose.
Moreover, the objective of each team is to establish influential movements via missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events that will help communicate their message, and prompt actions from power decision-makers.
Their actions would culminate at the G20 Summit in Rome, Italy. There, the activists would seek support and funding to help address the issues they have raised.
During the season finale, the team with the most support will be crowned the winner. Some of the world’s most noteworthy musicians will also perform at the finale.
Hosts and Release Dates
“The Activist” is produced by Global Citizen, “an international education and advocacy organization working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty.”
Also joining in the production are Live Nation and Deviants Media, while Ivan Dudynsky and Fernando Hernandez are executive producers.
The premiere date for the series is Friday, Oct. 22 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT on CBS Television Network, as well as on Paramount+.