‘Is it the end of the world?’: Netizens ridicule, express disbelief over Priyanka Chopra’s upcoming reality show The Activist

screenmixSeptember 11, 2021

An upcoming reality TV show titled The Activist, from non-profit Global Citizen, has generated some controversy, ridicule and in a few cases, disbelief, on a global level. As per Deadline, the series will involve six “inspiring activists” who will team up with three public figures, namely Usher, Priyanka Chopra and Julianne Hough.

The stated aim as per the Deadline report is to “bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment.” So far, so good. But the format of the show involves challenges whose results will be decided on the basis of “online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input.”

Scathing jokes abound on social media sites about this “performance activism” show that allegedly trivialises the very concept of activism and is real-world Hunger Games or Black Mirror’s Fifteen Million Merits episode.

Writer-illustrator John Paul Brammer tweeted, “Priyanka Chopra has sent me home because I couldn’t get “the rainforest” to trend on twitter.”

Author Naomi Klein tweeted, “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?”

A non-profit Public Citizen tweeted, “Usher: “Your TikTok dance about insulin rationing was inspiring, but 90 views is pathetic. For that reason, I’m out.”

Twitter user @micahherskind wrote, “Pleased to announce I’ll be on the debut season of “The Activist,” working against my fellow activists to be the best activist, with Usher as my mentor. A better world is possible, we just have to be willing to duel with other activists to the death, for entertainment!”

Another, @jolilore, wrote, “It’s like capitalism finally figured out a way to kill off empathy.”