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CBS reality show The Activist to be retooled as documentary: 'We got it wrong'

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A new CBS show, The Activist, was intended to bring liberal politics to an on-the-air, competitive reality series, but immense backlash has its creators reversing course, saying, "We got it wrong."

CBS said the show is no longer scheduled to premiere on Oct. 22, as previously planned, and will be retooled into a "documentary special." The previous premise of the show, which was largely decried as tone-deaf, involved six activists competing against each other to draw social media attention to various causes and were judged by celebrities Julianne Hough, Usher, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

“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,” CBS, Live Nation, and Global Citizen said in a statement to Deadline.

The network said the new air date will be announced at a later time, adding that the new show format will "showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in," with each activist receiving a cash grant for an organization of their choice, which was one of the initial intentions behind the show.

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Naomi Klein, a Canadian social activist and filmmaker, critiqued the premise of the show on Sept. 9, among many who panned the concept as a trivialization of well-meaning activism.

"I'm confused: Is this an advanced Marxist critique to expose how competition for money and attention pits activists against each other + undermines deep change," Klein asked.

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The Washington Examiner contacted CBS but did not immediately receive a response.

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Tags: News, CBS, Entertainment, Media

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: CBS reality show The Activist to be retooled as documentary: 'We got it wrong'

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