Priyanka Chopra Jonas addressed the controversial series The Activist yesterday (September 16) on Twitter, following co-judge Julianne Hough’s public apology a day prior.
Chopra, 39, responded to the uproar over the proposed show, which was set to focus on competing teams of activists and public figures fighting to promote their causes on social media.
The resulting backlash of criticism led to an announcement by CBS that its planned competition will shift to a documentary special. The competition was to be judged by Chopra, Usher, and Hough, who admitted that she was not qualified to be a judge on such a show.
“I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week,” Chopra wrote in a statement posted to Twitter and Instagram. “At its core, Activism is fueled by cause and effect, and when people come together to raise their voice about something, there is always an effect. You were heard. The show got it wrong, and I’m sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you.”
Chopra tried to explain the show’s original intent, saying its goal was “to bring attention to the people behind the ideas and highlight the actions and impact of the causes they support tirelessly. 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.”
As we earlier reported, CBS, Global Citizen, and Live Nation admitted in a joint statement that they were tone-deaf to the work of the many activists who serve 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.”
Hough released a statement over the controversial show saying pitting the activists against each other felt like the “Oppression Olympics” and accused it of capitalizing off activism.
“It feels important for me to share that the original reason I signed on to this show was because I was really excited to be a part of something that highlights, and is centered around sharing activists’ work on a larger platform,” she wrote. “In doing so, I felt it would help educate, mobilize, and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism because many worthy causes need attention, funding, and most importantly, the power to effect real change.”
Hough added her controversial Halloween costume back in 2013 where she wore blackface as Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black as another reason to disqualify her as a judge, “I do not claim to be an activist and wholeheartedly agree that the judging aspect of the show missed the mark and furthermore, that I am not qualified to act as a judge. On top of all of this, many people are aware that I wore blackface in 2013, which only further added assault to injury.”