Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas has issued an apology over her participation in the CBS show 'The Activist', after it got social media backlash over a controversial format change. She says she is sorry that her participation in it disappointed many.
The actress, who is married to American pop star Nick Jonas, said she has been "moved" by the criticism against the show for incorporating competitive sections that would enable the winners to raise selected topics at the upcoming G-20 summit in Rome.
"Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community — we got it wrong," wrote Global Citizen, an advocacy group, slamming the proposed change in the show.
After the public outrage CBS will be broadcast the show as a one-time documentary special rather than a five-episode series. The premiere scheduled for October 22 has been postponed, though the new date is yet to be announced.
The controversial competition
'The Activist' was initially announced as involving six "inspiring activists" who will team up with three public personalities such as Usher, Priyanka, and Julianne Hough.
Earlier, Julianne had also addressed the criticism in a note.
The format for the series had six activists representing three causes -- health, education and environment -- completing challenges to raise awareness about those issues during the initial four episodes.
For the fifth and final episode, three of the six activists were to have been chosen (one representing each area) to go to the G20 summit in Rome at the end of October and meet with world leaders to personally press their causes.
Performances from well-known musicians also would have figured into the climactic episode.
Priyanka shared the apology letter on her Instagram.
It read: "I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week. At the core, Activism is fuelled by cause and effect, and when the people come together to raise their voice about something, there is always an effect. You were heard."
The statement further read: "The show got it wrong, and I am sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you."
The 39-year-old actress said that 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."
"I'm happy to know that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight, and I'm proud to collaborate with the partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it's time to hit pause and re-evaluate," she said.
The actress added: "There is a global community of activists who fight the fight every single day and put their blood, sweat and tears into creating change, but more often than not, they are rarely heard or acknowledged."
"Their work is so important and they too deserve to be recognised and celebrated. Thank you to each and everyone of you all for all that you do."