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Priyanka Chopra addresses activist reality show backlash: 'It's really tragic'

The "Matrix Resurrections" actor received a lot of hate online when she signed on to host a show about activists competing against one another.

In September 2021, Priyanka Chopra faced backlash online when she, Usher and Julianne Hough were announced as the hosts of the new reality TV show "The Activist." In the series — which was set to premiere in October — contestants and public figures were said to be competing against one another in activism-themed contests for the chance to get a large sum of money put towards their cause.

Although CBS meant well by "The Activist," the network and the show's hosts were largely criticized when people found out what the series was about. Some said the program was "pitting activists against each other," so CBS went back to the drawing board and reconfigured the show as a documentary with a to-be-determined air date.


Today - Season 68
Priyanka Chopra appears as a guest on TODAY in October 2019.Nathan Congleton / NBC

While recalling the backlash she received for "The Activist," Chopra told Vanity Fair in a new interview that she has "no idea" what CBS is planning on doing with the show. However, she finds it hard that the network's producing partner, Global Citizen, an organization that's helping to end extreme poverty by 2030, was not able to go forth with the series as planned.

“I’ve been involved with Global Citizen for so many years, and I know the strides that they’ve made when it comes to global poverty and climate change," she said. "They’ve done incredible work. So, it’s really tragic when something like that happens because that is never the intention.”

“It makes me sad because I try to live my life as a good person every day, doing the best I can, just like everyone else," Chopra continued. "And it would just be nice to be seen for that sometimes.”

Nick Jonas — Chopra's husband of three years — said he's never seen his wife get stressed out by her fame before.

Priyanka Chopra (L) and Nick Jonas attend the John Varvatos Villa One Tequila Launch Party in August 2019.Craig Barritt / Getty Images for John Varvatos

“We both know that public life is something that comes with what we do,” he said. “But we’ve set real boundaries around our personal lives, our privacy, and worked really hard to create that little safe haven for ourselves with our friends and family.”

Chopra also opened up about living under a microscope, saying, “It’s a very vulnerable feeling, actually, that if I post a picture, everything that’s behind me in that picture is going to be zoomed in on, and people are going to speculate.”

“It’s just a professional hazard…. Because of the noise of social media, because of the prevalence that it has in our lives, I think it seems a lot larger than it is. I think that we give it a lot more credence in real life, and I don’t think it needs that.”