Talent Recap

Despite Fan Criticism Julianne Hough is Still on Board for ‘The Activist’

Julianne HoughJason Kempin/Getty Images for Netflix

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Julianne Hough has faced a lot of heat on social media in the past few days. Ever since she announced she would be a part of CBS’s series The Activist, her fans have shared just how unqualified she is to be a part of a show about activism. After fan outrage, Hough went to the network to share fan concerns.

Global Citizen admits they got the idea behind the series all wrong when it came to production. The original intention for the competition show was to have six groups of activist teams who are seeking funds and one winner. Instead, the show will remove the competition aspect entirely, and has issued a large, joint apology.

“As a result, we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced),” said CBS in a joint statement with Global Citizen and Live Nation. “It will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show.”

CBS shared that the show will be entirely brand new. The series is officially halting production, even though they were already pretty far into the season. The network has already scratched what was filmed to move forward in production of the documentary.

The Fans Have Spoken and The Activist is Now a Documentary

The Activist will now exist as a primetime documentary and will not have a competition aspect. Originally, the series was supposed to be out on October 22, but I highly doubt that will remain.

When The Activist the series was first announced in May, they had no celebrities attached. Which explains how it didn’t face harsh criticism until now. Considering the heat the companies are under, some of them also issued apologies of their own. Global Citizen, an advocacy group trying to end extreme poverty, issued their own 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,” they said. “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.”

Global Citizen is an active activist group themselves. Some would say they should’ve created a better series from the beginning. If anyone understands that activist groups face enough challenges without three celebrity hosts handing it to them, it should be this group.

The Documentary Will Arguably be Better Than the Series Would’ve Ever Been

Instead of putting six activist groups against each other, viewers will now follow them through their everyday lives and struggles. From this new description, it seems like this is about to be a very emotional documentary. It’s really hard and sometimes illegal to advocate on behalf of something you believe in. Instead of emphasizing a competition, they will now emphasize these groups actual struggles.

I’m glad the network could understand that these groups don’t need more adversity added on top of them. There will be no challenges or evaluations as a part of this documentary now.

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