Actor Priyanka Chopra on Thursday apologised for her participation in an American reality television show that is facing a backlash.
Chopra, along with singer-songwriter Usher and dancer Julianne Hough, are the hosts of the show called The Activist. The programme will feature three teams, each comprising of two activists, that will compete against each other for a cause.
American television network CBS, which will air the show in October, said: “The Activist pairs advocates from the worlds of health, education, and the environment with famous figures in a series of competitions that’ll take the winners – and their ideas for seismic world change – to the G20 Summit in Italy.”
Even before its broadcast, the show is being criticised for being “tone deaf” and “performative”.
Global Citizen, an international advocacy group co-producing the show, also acknowledged that global activism should be based on cooperation, not competition.
Meanwhile, Chopra, in a statement on Twitter, said she was sorry that her association with the show had disappointed many people. “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 said. “The show got it wrong.”
The actor added: “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.”
Amid the controversy, CBS said that it will rework the show to make it non-competitive, AFP reported. The network acknowledged that the show’s format “distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day”.
Responding to this, Chopra said. “I am happy to know that in this new format, their [the activists’] 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.”