Tuesday, October 26, 2021

CBS’s “The Activist” Hasn’t Even Aired and It’s An Awful Move.

September 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Activists tend to be the active voice for people with specific interests. Whether it’s something you or majority agree with or not, activists bring attention to causes or perceived injustices.

The Importance of Activists

You have activists for gun rights, marijuana legalization, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, social justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, children’s rights, animal rights, undocumented immigrants, workers–if there’s a place where it’s believed that rights are either exploited, denied or restricted, there’s an activist for it.

If there are specific laws on the book or there is a Bill of Rights equivalent established but a government is either not ensuring everyone is protected under them or their right to something such as voting isn’t strong enough, activists are to shine light on it and amplify voices.

It’s necessary work as civilization has shown if it’s vaguely written or doesn’t consider changing times down the line, rights are negotiable at the minimum and can be outright denied at the extreme.

That’s why when news of a new competition show based on activism was announced, social media was not impressed.


CBS Announces The Activist

Announced for CBS’s Paramount+ streaming service, The Activist will run for five weeks and is hosted by Usher, Priya Chopra Jonas, and Julianne Hough.

Alright, competition show featuring celebrities? Expected. Nothing new there and CBS knows it. We’ve been seeing these since American Idol and Fear Factor dropped in the early 2000s.

So, CBS decides to add a little flavor and puts important causes to the test. As expected, social media and even politicians sh** on the idea. I never said that the added flavor made this show any more palpable, folks.

From what I’m gathering from CBS’s presentation of The Activist, it will involve several groups of activists—paired with a celebrity—working to create movements that amplify their cause.

These causes center around health, education, and the environment. The show’s activists will be given challenges to achieve and whichever group makes the largest impact—such an important word—wins.

Well, in the competition sense “success” is more accurate than “impact” but activists work towards impacting lives. Whatever hill they’re willing to die on will impact lives, it just depends on if those lives are for or against what is being pushed.

In the case of The Activist, success is measured by social engagement, host input, and so on. The overall show winners then move on to phase two of the show where they head to the G20 Summit where they will present their cause and plan of action.

I’m guessing if they manage to get the most commitment at the Summit they win-win the competition. I mean, any commitment for a good cause is a win but this a competition program and like The Highlander there can be only one.

Since they’re going to the G20 Summit and the show is presented by Global Citizen, there will be musical performances as well. Righteous.

Yeah, CBS Could Easily Run This Show, but Should They?

Of course not! This is a horrible idea. That isn’t to say that the celebrities involved don’t put their money, given by fans and consumers into causes they support but why make activists jump through hoops and dance on cue to push their cause forward?

Global Citizen’s CEO and co-founder Hugh Evans said “The audience will see the Activists’ passion and commitment for their causes tested as they petition world leaders to take urgent action to resolve the interconnected crises we face.”

First off, they don’t need their “passion and commitment for their causes tested”. If they’re backing a cause that they feel isn’t getting enough attention or enough action from world leaders and public figures, they’re being tested enough.

The time, treasure, and talent—to paraphrase political strategist and activist L. Joy Williams—is the commitment. It’s already there, folks. Doing this kind of work—often at a loss of both time and treasure—is the passion.

We don’t need a competition show to spotlight that.

It’s not as if having millions of people watching them is going make them go any harder than they already do. If anything, should they go harder on their issues it kind of points to them not putting in enough commitment for their cause.

Secondly, sure we’ve got a show: it could’ve been a reality show or docuseries highlighting their activism and you could have the featured celebrities on discussing what they take away from their work or how it moved them. They could even be narrators between segments of the activists and their activities.

I mean, the celebs are already signed on for this so you might as well use them in the show in some capacity.

Nothing Is Above Being Commercialized

The focus should be strictly on the activists and their causes and why they’re so passionate and committed to making a change, not scoring how much of a change they made.

“Yeah, climate change is a real issue but your proposal is missing some flavor. It lacks umph. It’s a ‘No’ from me, dawg.”

Now, would my idea make good television? Of course not. If they were going this route, Global Citizen could’ve run the show on Netflix. CBS hunts ratings and eyeballs on shows for sponsors.

Even on streaming services, these kinds of things are measured. If a show doesn’t hit just right where another season is certain, it’s not worth investing too much into it.

A docuseries or non-brain cell obliterating reality show would most likely be a money pit for a network and feature little chance of a return.

Sure, nothing is above being commercialized—even something as innocent as trying to do the right thing—but this The Activist is a show that just comes off as greasy from the concept.

It’s no wonder it went over like a fart in church. Especially during a time of social unrest, a country changing hands, and a pandemic.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.


One Response to “CBS’s “The Activist” Hasn’t Even Aired and It’s An Awful Move.”
  1. Charles says:

    LGBTQ is abnormal perversion.
    It is no surprise that the suicide rate is so high.
    LGBTQ means confusion and how dare they say God, creation or evolution got it wrong when LGBTQ people were created. Who the Hell are they to say that? Lost. LGBTN – Let’s Get Back To Normal
    They get upset at those of us who speak the truth because they know we are right.