Priyanka Chopra Apologizes for Participating in 'The Activist' After Backlash

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has apologized for her role in planned reality show The Activist, which was set to blend activism with X-Factor-style competition.

Producers Global Citizen had last week hailed the controversial show as being a "first-of-its-kind competition series that will inspire real change," before criticism led to the show being switched from a competition series to a documentary.

According to a press release obtained by Deadline, the series would feature six activists "teamed with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment."

However, the announcement led to a furious backlash across social media, with detractors decrying the notion that activism should ever be portrayed in competition form.

Chopra, who had been set to host the five-week competition alongside Usher and Julianne Hough, has since taken to Instagram to issue a written apology, conceding on Thursday that the show "got it wrong."

"I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week," she said. "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. You were heard.

"The show got it wrong, and I'm sorry that my participation disappointed many of you. 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."

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra Jonas poses backstage for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. The screen star has apologized for her role in planned reality show "The Activist." Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp

She went on: "I'm happy to know that in this new format, their 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.

"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 recognized and celebrated. Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you do," the star concluded.

Chopra's post came two days after Hough issued her own statement about The Activist on Instagram, also acknowledging criticism of the show.

"The last few days have been a powerful demonstration of real-time activism," Hugh stated. "Thank you for using your voices, calling me in, your accountability, and your candor. I am deeply listening with an open heart and mind."

Stating that she had expressed concerns about the show with "the powers that be," the erstwhile Dancing with the Stars judge added: "I have faith and confidence in the beautiful people that I've worked with will make the right choice and do the right thing moving forward. Not just for the show, but for the greater good."

On Wednesday, Global Citizen—along with fellow producers CBS and Live Nation—announced in a statement that The Activist would switch formats from a competition series to a documentary as they caved to the backlash.

Their statement read: "The Activist was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

"However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort."

"As a result, we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced)," the statement went on. "It will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in.

"Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show."

Usher and Julianne Hough
(L-R) Usher and Julianne Hough had also been set to appear on "The Activist," which has now been repurposed as a documentary. Paras Griffin/Getty Images;/Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic