In an attempt to keep press about their upcoming show The Activist from going from worse to WORSER (yes, we know that’s not a real word, but let’s roll with it), CBS has announced the series will be getting the documentary treatment instead of airing as a competition series as originally planned.
Yay, bullying works!
Per the Hollywood Reporter, the show is currently being “retooled” as a “documentary special,” according to Global Citizen and Live Nation, pushing out the original air date of Oct. 22 to a later time. The two producing entities addressed the decision to change the format in a joint statement, citing the online pushback and the distraction the series’ original format posed from the work “incredible activists do in their communities every day:
“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.
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.
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.
Activists and community leaders around the world work every day, often without fanfare, to advance protections for people, communities, and our planet. We hope that by showcasing their work we will inspire more people to become more involved in addressing the world’s most pressing issues. We look forward to highlighting the mission and lives of each of these incredible people.
As The Root reported on Wednesday, one of the show’s co-hosts Julianne Hough issued her own statement, where she acknowledged the critique from those online and revealed she shared those concerns “with the powers that be,” and that she was listening.
“I’m going to continue to listen, unlearn, learn and take the time to be fully present with everything that you have all shared because I don’t want to just react,” she wrote in part. “I want to digest, understand and respond in a way that is authentic and aligned with the woman I am becoming. I also understand that there is no response that I could share that would make everyone happy, however, I want you to know that this is a conversation and I’m still listening.”
The Activist was originally touted to be a five-week reality series produced by Global Citizen and Live Nation, featuring “six inspiring activists who team with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment.” Activists would have reportedly gone head-to-head in challenges to “promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.