The Activist has to be one of the worst ideas for a television show ever. Basics of the show, “six inspiring activists teamed 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 go head-to-head in challenges to promote their causes, with their success measured via online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.”
Are they kidding?
We’ve written an article on why this is a bad idea (FIND IT HERE) and we will stand by that. We aren’t the only ones that have felt that this is a really bad idea. The internet has and one of the hosts, Julianne Hough, took to Instagram and responded to the backlash.
“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 candor. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind: After the press release announcing The Activist, I heard you say that the show was performative, promoted pseudo-activism over real activism, felt tone-deaf, like Black Mirror, The Hunger Games, and that the hosts weren’t qualified to assess activism because we are celebrities and not activists,” she started.
“I heard you say that there was hypocrisy in the show because at the root of activism is a fight against capitalism and the trauma that it causes so many people and that the show itself felt like a shiny capitalistic endeavor,” Hough continued.
“I also heard you say that trying to value one cause over another felt like the Oppression Olympics and totally missed and disrespected the many activists who have been killed, assaulted and faced various abuses fighting for their causes. And because of all this, there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and had that is being rightfully felt. 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 this, many people are just becoming aware that I wore blackface in 2013 which only further added insult to injury,” she wrote on the second slide.
“Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and white body bias that hurt people and is something that I regret doing to this day. However, the regret that I live with pales in comparison to the lived experiences of so many. My commitment has been to reflect and act differently. Not perfectly. but hopefully with a more developed understanding that racism and white supremacy is harmful to ALL people.”
“I’ve definitely not addressed all the different, valuable feedback about what the show missed and my missteps. I want you to know that I am still listening, because this is a messy and uncomfortable conversation. and I’m committed to being here for all of it. 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. 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,” she said, explaining her position, but also listening to what everyone is saying.
“I do not have all the answers yet. I’ve shared your concerns as well as my own with the powers that be, who I believe have listened. I have faith and confidence in the beautiful people that I’ve worked with will make the right choice and do the right thing moving forward. Not just for the show, but for the greater good. 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. 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.” she concluded the post.
What are your thoughts on The Activist?