AceShowbiz - CBS has decided to scrap the plan to move forward with "The Activist" as a five-episode competition show. Following backlash, the network and producing partners Global Citizen and Live Nation announced that it will now become a one-time documentary special.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, September 15, CBS, Global Citizen and Live Nation said, "The Activist was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same." They added, "However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort."
The statement continued, "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). 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."
In addition, Global Citizen issued its own apology over the matter. "Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community -- we got it wrong," the philanthropic org admitted. "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."
"The Activist" was initially scheduled to premiere as a series on October 22. Featuring Usher, Julianne Hough and Priyanka Chopra as judges, the show was set to see social media users, bloggers and opinion writers competing to bring "change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment" with the six contestants' performances being measured by the social media engagement.