Julianne Hough will soon be seen on upcoming CBS competition series “The Activist”, serving as co-host alongside Usher and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
According to the network’s announcement, “The Activist” is described as “an unprecedented series featuring six activists from around the world working to bring meaningful change to one of three urgent universal causes: health, education and the environment.”
The series’ premise, however, has been hit with backlash, with The Hollywood Reporter noting that both television critics and social media users have been criticizing what appears to be “a competitive woke-off.”
On Tuesday, Hough took to Instagram to address the backlash, writing that she gets why people are slamming “The Activist” as “performative, promoted pseudo-activism over real activism” that “felt tone-deaf,” and that she and her fellow hosts “weren’t qualified to assess activism because we are celebrities and not activists.”
She continued by writing that she understood complaints of the show’s “hypocrisy,” and that “trying to value one cause over another felt like the Oppression Olympics and totally missed and disrespected the many activists who have been killed, assaulted and faced various abuses fighting for their causes.”
In the midst of the criticism, she added, “many people are just becoming aware that I wore blackface in 2013 which only further added insult to injury,” and she apologized for what she terms “a poor choice based on my own white privilege and white body bias…”
Noting that she’s “still listening, because this is a messy and uncomfortable conversation,” Hough insisted that she’s “committed to being here for all of it. It feels important for me to share that the original reason I signed on to this show was because I was really excited to be a part of something that highlights, and is centered around sharing activists’ work on a larger platform. In doing so, I felt it would help educate, mobilize, and inspire people around the world to get involved in activism because many worthy causes need attention, funding, and most importantly, the power to effect real change.”
She concluded by writing, “I do not have all the answers yet. I’ve shared your concerns as well as my own with the powers that be, who I believe have listened. 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. I’m going to continue to listen, unlearn, learn and take the time to be fully present with everything that 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 aligned with the woman I am becoming. I also understand that there is no response that I could share that would make everyone happy. However, I want you to know that this is a conversation and I’m still listening.”