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‘The Activist’ reality show stirs controversy

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Social media users accuse CBS’s new show “The Activist” of trivializing pressing universal causes as activists in many countries are jailed or otherwise suppressed.

The CBS Broadcast logo is seen outside the CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan, New York, the United States, July 30, 2018.

The CBS Broadcast logo is seen outside the CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan, New York, the United States, July 30, 2018 (Reuters)

A new American reality TV show that pits activists promoting charitable causes against each other and uses social media as a measure of their success has sparked controversy.

“The Activist”, which was announced for launch this week, will air on US channel CBS in October and co-produced by the non-governmental organization Global Citizen, with celebrity hosts such as singer Usher, actress Priyanka Chopra and dancer Julianne Hough. .

The public will follow the adventures of “six activists from around the world who are working to bring about meaningful change to one of the three pressing universal causes: health, education and the environment,” CBS said in a statement.

“Activists will compete in missions, media stunts, digital campaigns and community events aimed at attracting the attention of the world’s most powerful decision-makers demanding action, now,” he continued.

Success “is measured by online engagement, social metrics, and contribution from hosts.”

The final will take place at the G20 summit in Rome in late October, where aspiring activists will meet with world leaders in the hope of securing funding and raising awareness for their cause.

READ MORE: Is Iran using an activist’s detention to get $ 554 million from the UK?

Trivialization of activism

CBS executives called the show “groundbreaking” and said they hoped it would inspire viewers.

But the reaction has been swift, with social media users accusing the spectacle of trivializing such causes at a time when activists in many countries are jailed or suppressed in their attempt to defend human rights.

“Fighting for trouble is hard enough without having to dance and sing for a bunch of millionaires while they decide who is worthy of their crumbs,” Nabilah Islam, US activist and former Democratic congressional candidate, wrote on Twitter. Georgia.

READ MORE:
More than a dozen Palestinian security officers to stand trial over death of activist

“This is not a reality show to trivialize activism,” Global Citizen said in response to backlash in a declaration by the deadline.

The goal, the organization said, “is to support activists everywhere, to show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work and to amplify their causes to an even wider audience.”

READ MORE: Activists worried about environmental cost of mine in Serbia

Source: AFP

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