Priyanka Chopra Addresses 'The Activist' Backlash: 'The Show Got It Wrong'

The actress addressed the backlash towards her new reality show and apologized for her participation in it.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is addressing The Activist backlash.

Last week, Chopra, Julianne Hough and Usher were announced as judges of the upcoming show. However, the competition series' format came under fire for having activists compete against one another. In a statement released on Thursday, Chopra Jonas wrote that "the show got it wrong" and apologized for her participation. 

"I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week. 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," she begins. "You were heard."

"The show got it wrong, and I'm sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you. The intention was always to bring attention to the people behind the ideas and highlight the actions and impact of the causes they support tirelessly," she continues. "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."

She concludes by writing, "There is a global community of activists who fight the fight every single day and put their blood, sweat and tears into creating change, but more often than not, they are rarely heard or acknowledged. Their work is so important and they too deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you do."

Originally set to premiere Oct. 22, the CBS reality show featured six activists competing to make a difference in either health, education or the environment.

On Wednesday, CBS, Global Citizen and Live Nation, which produce the project, announced that  they were changing the format from a competitive series to a documentary special. The statement noted the changes and highlighted the fault in the show structure.

"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 statement began. "The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort."

The statement continued by noting that it would have a new air date and the documentary "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."

This came after Hough addressed fans' concerns about the show and responded to backlash over her position as co-host following her 2013 blackface controversy. 

"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," she shared. "On top of this, many people are just becoming aware that I wore blackface in 2013, which only further added insult to injury." 

Hough, who wore blackface while dressing as Uzo Aduba's Orange Is the New Black character for Halloween in 2013, said that "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."

Usher has yet to publicly comment on the matter.



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