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The Real Reason Why The Activist Will Now Be A Documentary Instead Of A Series

Competitive reality shows are nothing new. "American Idol" and "The Voice" attempt to find the best singers in the country, while "Hell's Kitchen" pits the finest chefs around against one another. It's somewhat thrilling to see the contestants tackle different challenges to see who ultimately comes out on top. However, when CBS announced a very different reality series, it left a bad taste in people's mouths. 

You may have heard about the premise of "The Activist" on social media. The idea behind the show is that different activists would plead their case to various judges, including Usher, Julianne Hough, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, for the chance to lobby members of G20. The idea swiftly drew backlash on social media, both for its crass attempt to place one cause as more important than the others and for its choice of judges, who didn't exactly seem qualified to speak on charity causes.

One such critique came from Naomi Klein, professor of climate justice at the University of British Columbia, who wrote on Twitter, "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? Or just the end of the world?" She was far from the only one to voice her opinion, and it appears CBS has heard people's complaints. "The Activist" will now be retooled into a documentary format as opposed to a competition show.

The new format will showcase the work performed by all six activists

The announcement of the change comes a little over a month before the reality series was set to air. "The Activist" was initially supposed to come out on October 22, and there's no word yet on whether the documentary replacement will fill in that slot or come out at a later date (via The Hollywood Reporter). The documentary will spend time with each of the six activists, showcasing the tireless work they've performed and highlighting their various causes. In a statement released by CBS, Live Nation, and Global Citizen, each activist will also receive "a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show."

You can read the complete statement at The Hollywood Reporter, which goes on to read, "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."

Global Citizen released its own separate statement: "Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community — we got it wrong. It is our responsibility to use this platform in the most effective way to realize change and elevate the incredible activists dedicating their lives to progress all around the world." Hopefully, out of all of the drama, some good does manage to come out of this series when it finally comes out.