CBS ‘Activist’ game show contest torn apart for trivializing serious causes


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I’m really trying not to be too skeptical and critical of a person, especially when it comes to pop culture stuff, so I’m just going to ask:

Am I the only one who thinks of a reality TV show featuring activists competing on social media for likes and shares where the winner gets their cause supported by world leaders while the losing causes simply lose … Is that a little weird?

According to Deadline, CBS will host a show with this premise on Friday, October 22. The show is called Activist and it’s a five-week series that will be hosted by Usher, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Julianne Hough– which I guess we’re all meant to forget, she herself had a little Blackface incident in 2015.

Anyway, the deadline reports Activist “Is a series of competitions featuring six inspirational activists associated with three leading public figures who work together to bring about meaningful change to one of three vitally important global causes: health, education and the ‘environment. “

The way the competition is organized is that activists compete in challenges to promote their causes. The success of these causes is measured by the level of online engagement of each competitor as well as by “social metrics”, whatever that means, and by host feedback.

“All three teams have one ultimate goal: to create impactful movements that amplify their message, incite action and move them forward to the G20 summit in Rome, Italy,” according to Deadline. “There, they will meet with world leaders in the hope of raising funds and raising awareness of their causes. The team that receives the greatest engagement is celebrated as the overall winner of the final, which will also include musical performances by some of the world’s most passionate artists.

So basically it’s America has talent, but with important real-life issues and causes that probably shouldn’t be trivialized by competition judged largely by online influence.

OK fine– I failed not to be too skeptical and critical. But in my defense, a lot of good people on Twitter feel the same way.

Some were even kind enough to come up with alternative names for the show.

OK, everyone, calm down. I realize that at first glance it sounds like a muffled nonsense from America’s “Next Top Model Citizen”– and personally, I’ve never been happier to see Black Lives Matter not being included in something – but maybe we are all wrong and this new series will prove to be an asset for the betterment of humanity. The people involved in the program seem to think so.

Activist is a one-of-a-kind competition series that will inspire real change, as the series progresses from the US to Rome for the latest challenge for activists at the G20 ”, Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of Global Citizen, says Deadline. “The public will see activists’ passion and commitment to their causes put to the test as they call on world leaders to take urgent action to resolve the interconnected crises we face.”

Jack Sussman, EVP Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming at CBS, echoed Evans’ sentiments, saying, “Combining philanthropy and entertainment, Activist is a revolutionary series ready to inspire viewers. We’re thrilled to have Usher, Priyanka and Julianne on the show, guiding our CBS audience through the journeys of passionate change makers from around the world.

So, do you all try this one, or not?

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