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We’ve reached the sad place where activism has turned into a reality show

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14.09.2021

So, they’re turning activism into a reality show? Has it come to this? And in this of all years?

Here’s the idea behind CBS’s “The Activist,” which is coming in October: Three celebrities will watch as half a dozen aspiring activists compete to see if they can impart effective change in one of three causes — education, health or the environment — during a network series with a five-week run.

The prize? The winners get to attend the Group of 20 summit in Rome this fall to meet with world leaders and try to raise money and awareness for their cause.

Anyone who has engaged in real activism may give this made-for-TV model a glowering side-eye. The contestants don’t compete for actual funds to do good works but merely for the right to crash an international conference and try to shake down world leaders for cash? Instead of a crown of glory, that almost sounds like the second circle of hell.

CBS is surely trying to capitalize on the current avalanche of doom in the daily news cycle. And my critique is based mainly on the network’s press materials. However, throwing a group of golden-hearted do-gooders into a gladiator’s ring where viewers vote on the........

© Washington Post


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