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Julianne Hough insists backlash over ‘The Activist’ helped her ‘grow’

Environmental Media Association Awards Gala 2021
Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough has insisted the backlash over “The Activist” has fueled her “to focus on things that need attention.”

Last month, the 33-year-old Dancing with the Stars alum was set to co-host the CBS reality competition program alongside Priyanka Chopra and Usher. The show was focused on six activists from around the world, who would compete for money by raising awareness through online campaigns. However, the concept was criticized for its competitive element and network executives eventually decided to modify it into a primetime documentary series.

On Saturday, Hough spoke to People at the Environmental Media Association Awards about the debacle, noting that the experience gave her “more fire” to dedicate herself to charitable causes.

“I think the greatest thing that I learned is to listen to what’s happening, to gather information, and to really try to learn,” she shared. “I think that’s the greatest thing you can do is to just learn and to grow and to be open to different perspectives.”

At the time of the backlash, Hough responded to those concerned via social media, acknowledging that she was “deeply listening with an open heart and mind”.

Following the criticism, she said that she reached out to activists across different platforms to talk about the situation, who she praised for offering “their deepest kindness by sharing and opening up” while she was in a “time of learning”.

“I reached out to so many people who offered their knowledge and their perspective in a way that was inviting and welcoming versus being judgmental,” the dancer remembered. “That was kindness at its finest and it really showed that humans really do want to unify and help each other and that touched my heart.”

– Cover Media