Some serious fuckery is afoot over at CBS. On last night’s episode of Survivor, it was revealed that a contestant was removed from the game for inappropriately touching one of the producers off camera. That sounds like the good and right thing to do, but the problem is, the same contestant had already been accused of inappropriate touching by another contestant weeks earlier. His accuser Kellee Kim, was voted out the very same week she spoke up, and the creep in question, Hollywood agent Dan Spilo, was allowed to stay. Despite multiple incidents being caught on tape of Dan touching Kellee and walking around looking like the twin Harvey Weinstein ate in utero. To make matters worse, two other female contestants, Missy Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel, also said that Dan had been inappropriate with them, but later admitted they had “exaggerated their reactions” in order to get Dan voted out. But then changed their minds and blindsided Kellee instead (via People). Mess. Now, CBS is catching heat for the spectacularly bad job they did at handling the situation.
According to People:
At the end of Wednesday’s episode, host Jeff Probst came to the tribe’s camp to tell the remaining contestants that Spilo had been removed from the game. He did not elaborate on the reason why Spilo was taken out of the competition, leaving the fellow players to speculate about what happened.
As the show ended, the screen faded to black. Then the following words appeared: “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
The nature of the incident was not explained, but it came just weeks after Spilo, a Hollywood agent, was accused of inappropriately touching a female contestant earlier this season. During the controversial episode, contestant Kellee Kim expressed concern that Spilo had violated her personal space, even after she made multiple requests for him to stop.
At that time, Dan was given a talking to by producers and said dribbled out some shit about working “in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed — thank God — to blossom” and that he’s sorry and horrified “if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done.” Just not sorry enough to stop doing it, I guess. Here’s People‘s account of what eventually got him kicked off the show.
PEOPLE has spoken to multiple people involved with the show’s production, who confirmed that the incident in question — which involved a member of the show’s production team — happened after an immunity challenge as Spilo and other contestants were getting into a boat to transport them back to the camp.
At one point, Spilo allegedly touched the female crew member’s leg. According to multiple sources, he insisted that the contact was inadvertent and accidental as he lost his balance while trying to get into the boat. At least one of the remaining contestants witnessed the incident.
Here’s Kellee’s reaction to last night’s revelation.
— Kellee Kim (@kellee_kim) December 12, 2019
Dalton Ross, who has been covering Survivor for Entertainment Weekly since the dawn of time, had this to say.
— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) December 12, 2019
Survivor has been a part of my weekly family nights since it premiered in 2000. We sit around, have some dinner, drink too much wine and talk loudly throughout the episode, usually to the point where I have to watch it again later. In the nearly 20 years I’ve been watching it, plenty of questionable bullshit has gone down, but never to the point where I was ready to quit. Partly due to my dearly departed mother screaming at the TV “What is up with these fucking useless women!” being one of my fondest memories. It was fun when Jonny Fairplay lied and told everybody his grandmother died. But shit is no fun at all. Here’s a look at the episode where Kellee spoke up.
EW reports that the finale, which is usually presented live-in studio, will be pre-taped due to the “sensitive nature” of the events this season as well as “security concerns for the contestants and to make sure the players feel as comfortable and safe as possible while discussing what happened out on the island.” Considering what a shitty job CBS has done so far juggling ratings and “sensitive material“, I’m expecting this mess to get even messier.
Pic: CBS via YouTube