Julianne Hough Is “Deeply Listening” To All The Criticisms Of Her New Competition Series “The Activist”

September 15, 2021 / Posted by:

It seems that Julianne Hough really did some soul-searching–AKA: danced like no one was watching while chanting out cheery affirmations to the sun–because she’s had a long hard think about her upcoming reality competition show The Activist on Parmount+. The show is like if the Hunger Games only picked activists and only one of them got to save somebody at the end. It has gotten a lot of backlash and Julianne would like you to know that she’s listening.

CBS and Global Citizen teamed up for The Activist, which will show different activists competing to see which one of them will get funding. The judges include Julianne Hough, Usher, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The show got dragged for trivializing and monetizing activism and social change. But the good people at Global Citizen had something to say about all the hate. BY THE WAY, on the Board of Directors of Global Citizen sits Michael Anders, who works with the investment firm, ICONIQ Capital, who works with billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s the statement that Global Citizen gave to Deadline:

“The Activist spotlights individuals who’ve made it their life’s work to change the world for the better, as well as the incredible and often challenging work they do on the ground in their communities. This is not a reality show to trivialize activism. On the contrary, our aim is to support activists everywhere, show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work, and amplify their causes to an even wider audience.”

Ahead of the October 22 premiere, it seems that Julianne has had a long hard think about the criticism. And so she did what anyone would do: posted about it to Instagram. After people called the show the “Oppression Olympics,” “performative,” and “tone-deaf,” Julianne had to speak out. She also re-apologized for the Halloween black face she did in 2013. via People:

“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.

I heard you say 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…

And because of this, there is a feeling of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and hurt 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…

Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurt people and is something I regret doing to this day. However, the regret that I live with pales in comparison to the lived experiences of so many… I am still listening because this is a messy and uncomfortable conversation, and I’m committed to being here for all of it.

Julianne promised her original reason for joining the show was to “help educate, mobilize, and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism.”

But Julianne ended her sermon by saying that she passed on people’s concerns to “the powers that be,” and said that she believes that they “have listened,” and that she had “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.” So… they are going to redistribute Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth and stop him from stealing land from native Hawaiians, or…?

Here’s Julianne’s full post:

This is going to be trash but here we are. Can’t wait for the next great reality competition series from people trying to “change the world.” How about one where people with cancer compete in obstacle courses and the winner gets life-saving treatment and the others get their GoFundMes plugged? Sounds like Hollywood activism to me!

Pic: WENN/Avalon

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