Julianne Hough Responds to The Activist Backlash: 'I Am Deeply Listening'
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Julianne Hough responds to criticism of her upcoming reality competition series The Activist.
Produced by CBS and Global Citizen, the series brings together six activists from around the world to work to "make meaningful changes to one of three pressing universal causes: health, education and the environment." Your success will be judged by social media engagement through digital media campaigns. Hough serves as a juror on the series alongside Usher and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
"The past few days have been a strong demonstration of real-time activism," Hough wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Thank you for using your voices, inviting me, your accountability and your openness. I listen to you with an open heart and an open mind. "
The former Dancing with the Stars pro added that some of the feedback she saw about The Activist described the show as "performative" and "deaf". According to Hough, some said "the hosts were not qualified to judge activism" because they were "celebrities and not activists".
"I heard you say the show was hypocrisy because the root of activism is the struggle against capitalism and the trauma it inflicts on so many people and that the show itself felt like a brilliant capitalist endeavor," continued Hough. "I have also heard you say that trying to put one thing above another felt like the Olympics of oppression and utterly the many activists killed, attacked and subjected to various forms of ill-treatment who fought for their ends missed and disregarded. "
She added, "And because of that, there is a sense of insult, dehumanization, insensitivity and hurt that is rightly felt. I do not claim to be an activist and I totally agree that the rating aspect of the show is the goal missed and besides. " that I am not qualified to serve as a judge. "
Hough also apologized again for wearing blackface at a 2013 Halloween party when she appeared as "Crazy Eyes," a character starred by Uzo Aduba in the hit Netflix drama, at a Beverly Hills bash Orange Is the New Black was played.
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"Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own fondness for white bodies, which has hurt people and which I still regret to this day," she wrote. “However, the regret that I am living compared to the lived experiences of so many people fades. My commitment was to reflect and act differently. Not perfect, but hopefully with a more developed understanding that racism and white supremacy are harmful to ALL people. "
While admitting that she only scratched the surface of the criticism, she said she wants her followers to know: "I'm still listening because this is a messy and awkward conversation and I'm determined to go for all here to be it. "
Julianne Hough, Usher and Priyanka Chopra
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“For me, it's important to say that the original reason I signed up for this show was because I was really excited to be part of something that was climax and focused on, the work of activists to share on a larger platform, ”she explained. “I had the feeling that this would help to educate, mobilize and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism, because many good reasons need attention, funding and, above all, the strength to bring about real change . "
Hough said she raised people's concerns to "the mighty," adding that she believed they were "listening".
"I trust and trust that the beautiful people I have worked with will make the right choices and do the right things for the future," she wrote. “Not just for the show, but for the common good. I will continue to listen, unlearn, learn, and take the time to be fully present with everything you have all shared because I don't want to just react. I want to digest, understand, and respond in a way that is authentic and attuned to the woman I become. "
She concluded, "I also understand that there is no answer I could share that would make everyone happy, but I want you to know that this is a conversation and that I am still listening."
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CBS, Global Citizen and the trio of celebrity judges came under fire for The Activist for the first time last week after the show was announced. The five-week series is supposed to have its premiere at 8 p.m. Friday October 22nd on CBS and will be available on Paramount + as a live and on-demand stream.
Spokespeople for CBS, Global Citizen, Chopra Jonas and Usher did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
In a statement to Deadline, a Global Citizen spokesperson said: “The activist sheds light on people who have made it their life's mission to change the world for the better, and the incredible and often challenging work they are doing on the ground in their This is not one Reality show to trivialize activism. On the contrary, our goal is to support activists everywhere, to show the ingenuity and dedication they put into their work, and to make their cause accessible to an even wider audience. "
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Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Indian actress and singer
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