Priyanka Chopra apologises for participation in The Activist: ‘The show got it wrong’

‘I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week,’ actor said

Peony Hirwani
Friday 17 September 2021 06:49

Priyanka Chopra says lockdown was a ‘blessing’

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has issued an apology for her “participation” in The Activist competition series following a controversy and social media backlash.

The 39-year-old actor, who was listed as one of the hosts of the show alongside Usher and Julianne Hough, said she has been “moved” by the criticism and acknowledged that “the show got it wrong”.

The five-week reality series was set to feature six activists working together with Hough, Chopra, and Usher to bring meaningful change to one of three causes: environment, education, and health.

However, the premise was widely criticised online, with critics branding the approach to activism “cynical”.

Chopra’s apology comes after producers CBS, Global Citizen, and Live Nation announced that the show will now air as a documentary special instead of a competition series on Wednesday (15 September).

“I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week,” Chopra said in a statement. “At its core, activism is fuelled by cause and effect, and when people come together to raise their voice about something, there is always an effect.”

“I’m sorry that my participation disappointed many of you,” the Quantico actor said. “I’m happy to know that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight, and I’m proud to collaborate with partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it’s time to hit pause and re-evaluate.”

Earlier this month, the show faced a large backlash on social media.

Best-selling author Trung Le Nguyen was among those to offer their thoughts on The Activist, describing the series as “gross and cynical”.

Nguyen wrote on Twitter: “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.”

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Jameela Jamil wrote: “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.”

In a statement to The Independent, Global Citizen apologised to “the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community” for getting it “wrong”.

The statement read: “Global activism centres on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologise to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community – we got it wrong.

“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.”

Hough also issued her own statement about The Activist on Wednesday (15 September).

She wrote: “The last few days have been a powerful demonstration of real-time activism.

“Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability, and your candour. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind.”

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